PM appears at Party Conference in Troon

Prime Minister David Cameron has spoken in Troon at the Conservative Party Conference where he discussed the independence referendum and Scotland’s role in the United Kingdom.

David Cameron, image from United Kingdom Home Office

During his speech this morning he has stated that First Minister Alex Salmond is “dithering” over the independence referendum. He said, “So my message to the First Minister is this: we’ve delivered on devolution, stop dithering about an independence referendum, start delivering your manifesto commitment, and fulfil the promise you gave to the Scottish people.”

Mr Cameron was keen to stress the importance of Scotland remaining part of the United Kingdom, and that it is “better off in Britain.” He also stressed that the United Kingdom is a successful union and that his government has pledged a referendum with a clear choice for Scottish voters.

The Scottish Conservatives plan to launch a new group called Friends of the Union, whose aim is to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom. The group will be open to anyone, not just party members.

The Prime Minister has also spoken about the impact of the recession, stating that “there are no shortcuts” in fixing the recession. He also said that “we are the only party that understands enterprise” and “the only ones who can fix society.”

He pledged that his party would continue to support the poorest in the country, despite changes to the welfare culture.

Listen to what David Cameron had to say here:

Failed UK rescue bid in Nigeria

Chris McManus, 28, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, and Franco Lamolinara have both died following an attempt by UK Special Forces and Nigerian military on Thursday.

Both engineers were abducted last May by an Islamist group in Sokoto. While David Cameron has claimed the men’s lives were in “imminent danger,” the Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano,  told the Italian media “The behaviour of the British government, which did not inform or consult with Italy on the operation that it was planning, really is inexplicable.” Mr Napolitano is seeking a political and diplomatic explanation from Britain.

Reports allege that the kidnappers turned their guns on the two construction engineers before the joint British and Nigerian military operation even entered the compound. Following the operation Mr Cameron said: “The early indications are clear that both men were murdered by their captors”.

However, an unnamed Nigerian official from the state security service tells the story differently, suggesting the men died in the crossfire.

Italian Senator Lucio Malan told BBC Two’s Newsnight of Italy’s dissatisfaction. “It is quite uncommon that a country that is involved is not informed before. Apparently it was a very difficult situation and it might have been the best decision but it is still to be explained why the Italian authorities haven’t been informed”.

Dvaid Cameron’s repsonse: “A window of opportunity arose to try and secure their release. We also had reason to believe that their lives were under imminent and growing danger.”

Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee chairman Richard Ottaway supports the Prime Minister telling the BBC: “I can understand the concerns and frustrations of Italian politicians but I think they’ve got to accept and recognise that these are very fast-moving, delicate operations and it’s not always possible to keep politicians briefed in advance of what goes on.”

The two men were seized by gunmen in the town of Birnin Kebbi on 12 May 2011. The Foreign Office advises  against travel to some areas of Nigeria warning that there is the threat of kidnap and terrorism.

The world in brief

By Rachelle Webdill

The MOD says the Royal Navy website has been taken offline after being ‘compromised’ by a hacker.

Ed Miliband has become a dad for the second time.

A public enquiry has got under way to investigate hundreds of patients who have allegedly died unnecessarily due to poor standards of care.

Parents of a nurse who was stabbed to death by her ex boyfriend want the judge who allowed him out on bail to be investigated.

The new Chief of Defence, Sir David Richards, says British troops must not cut and run from Afghanistan.

The two political parties backed by Burma’s military regime look likely to triumph in the countries election.

More than a 180 organisations from 42 countries are appealing to world leader to impose a tax on banks.

David Cameron will today fly to China at the head of the largest UK Government buisness delegation to ever visit the far Eastern country. He described the visit as, ‘a vitally important trade mission for the British economy’. But he also faces the awkward challenge of voicing concerns about China’s human rights record.

One of the 33 miners who was trapped underground for 69 days in Chile has completed the New York marathon.

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