Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Saturday, 27 September 2008 14:03 UK

Cameron proposes new Bank powers

David Cameron
The Tories will also pledge to restore weekly refuse collections

Conservative leader David Cameron wants to give the Bank of England sweeping new powers to rescue failing banks.

The Tory proposals would also give the Bank a new role of monitoring both consumer and company debt.

They aim to prevent a repeat of the collapse of Northern Rock and stave off the threat to the Bradford & Bingley.

It comes on the eve of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham where the plans will be unveiled by shadow chancellor George Osborne on Monday.

Bradford & Bingley's share has price plummeted to a record low and on Thursday the lender announced plans to cut 370 jobs.

Avert failures

The government is already proposing similar moves to avert bank failures through Banking Reform Bill which comes before parliament next month.

BBC political correspondent Robin Chrystal said the Conservatives were likely to present their proposals as more far-reaching and on a par with Gordon Brown's decision to give the Bank independence in 1997.

He said the Conservatives will also pledge to restore weekly rubbish collection across England. They claim the 121m can be met by axing a series of local quangoes

Meanwhile, shadow home secretary Dominic Grieve has warned British multiculturalism has left a "terrible" legacy which has allowed extremists to flourish.

He told the Guardian a type of "cultural despair" has led "long-term inhabitants" and newer arrivals to feel alienated and unsure of UK values.


It comes as an ICM poll for the Guardian suggested Labour had narrowed the gap on the Tories.

The poll put the Conservatives on 41%, Labour on 32% and the Lib Dems on 18%.

A ComRes survey for the Independent on Sunday last weekend put the Tories on 39%, Labour on 27% and the Lib Dems on 21%.

The Tory conference will open on Sunday in Birmingham, with a discussion on the economy involving shadow chancellor George Osborne and shadow foreign secretary William Hague.

Leader David Cameron's speech closes the conference on Wednesday.

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