Page last updated at 08:42 GMT, Wednesday, 23 September 2009 09:42 UK

Lib Dems: Monday at-a-glance


Million pound homes - or Vince Cable's "mansion tax" as some are already dubbing it. Mr Cable's plan for a 0.5% annual levy on the most expensive homes, raising £1bn, is sure to go down well with the party's grassroots. But what about affluent areas such as Twickenham, Mr Cable's own constituency, where owning a million pound home is not that unusual? Not to mention the Tory marginals where the party is hoping to make progress at the next election? Not only that, but the policy began to fall apart a little under scrutiny, with Mr Cable seemingly unable to confirm whether the tax would be a permanent measure or not - and how properties would be valued.


Vince Cable set out plans to tax owners of £1m-plus homes but does not confirm whether it would be permanent: Lib Dem plan for £1m-property tax

Nick Clegg has forced the party to face the need to cut public spending, his spokesman says: Clegg 'has made Lib Dems grow up'

Mr Clegg risks an angry backlash from the Greens when he says people would make more impact voting for the Lib Dems' "radical" environmental policies: Voting Green is a waste - Clegg

The government's own internet safety adviser, TV psychologist Dr Tanya Byron, tells a Lib Dem fringe meeting that plans to vet people in contact with children "unbelievably rubbish": Vetting rule ridiculous - Byron

Nick Clegg stands by his language on public spending saying politicians have to treat voters like adults: Clegg defends 'savage cuts' call

Lib Dem members back calls for a public inquiry into claims the UK has been complicit in torture and rendition of terrorist suspects since 2001: Lib Dems call for torture inquiry

Transport spokesman Jenny Randerson announces proposals to divert cash road to rail in Wales: Lib Dems call for big rail boost


Delegates voted to ban MPs from making capital gains on sales of second homes, as part of a tightening up of the expenses regime - with any surplus going back to the public purse. The party's MPs have already voluntarily signed up to such a scheme, but Danny Alexander told the morning press briefing they were waiting for the outcome of the Kelly inquiry into MPs pay and perks to see how they would proceed in future. The conference debate saw Chris Davies MEP launch a furious tirade at the "dirty cheating bastards" who had used taxpayers' money to line their pockets.

The conference backed a regional points-based immigration system aimed at easing pressure on the overcrowded South East of England. The aim of the system is to encourage immigrants to settle in areas with gaps in population and employment. Party members hope this will reduce pressure on public services in those parts of the country already stretched by the inflow from abroad.

The Lib Dems could not enter a coalition government with the Tories because of David Cameron's attitude towards the EU, ex-leader Charles Kennedy suggested. He claimed that the two parties' stances on Europe were so different that a Westminster alliance in the event of a hung Parliament was almost inconceivable.

The UK is on course to achieve record arms sales to Libya this year, foreign affairs spokesman Edward Davey claimed. In his conference speech, Mr Davey condemned Gordon Brown for his actions to support Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gadaffi's regime.

Danny Alexander, Nick Clegg's chief of staff, ruled out an independence referendum for Scotland after two Prospective Parliamentary Candidates called for it in Sunday's debate.


Her Majesty the Queen will have to pay Vince Cable's million pound mansion tax, we are told, although no one has been able to work out how much it will cost her, but what about Vince himself? Probably not, reckons an aide. The Lib Dem Treasury spokesman lives in a four bedroom house in Twickenham, which have been going for about £750,000 or thereabouts - although prices in nearby Richmond are bit steeper, with the more expensive there residences fetching more than £2m. Better stay in your own neighbourhood, Vince.


Nick Clegg has really "thrown down the adjectival gauntlet" to David Cameron, reckons Tony Blair's ex-policy guru Matthew Taylor. How will the Tory leader top "savage" public spending cuts, mused Taylor at a fringe meeting? "Bloody awful"?


"Am I in the right room?," said a momentarily befuddled Nick Clegg, after walking into the wrong lunchtime fringe meeting. "Yes you are Nick! Come back!," they all cried as he beat a hasty retreat. Well not all. "No, you should be at the Tory conference," muttered one malcontent under his breath. Some people.


Mark Littlewood - the Lib Dems' former press chief - must have been concerned his Liberal Vision fringe meeting, featuring Greg Dyke and Guido Fawkes, had not made much of an impact. Otherwise he wouldn't have ended it by setting fire to his wallet - to show that not all politicians had "money to burn". Would he?


Sarah Teather was the warm-up act at the party's opening night get together. She had a few digs at the opposition, suggesting David Cameron's favourite songs should include You're So Vain, Fake Plastic Trees or "anything by the Pretenders". But she reserved her best lines for her own side. Noting that a number of party figures were set to publish books in the near future, she offered others some advice on possible titles. For Evan Harris, left wing scourge of the party leadership, she suggested The God Delusion. Ouch.


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