Politics live blog: David Cameron’s business speech

Rolling coverage of all the day’s political developments as they happen

9.13am: David Cameron hasn’t delivered his business speech yet, but it has been extensively trailed in the papers and Chuka Umunna (left), the shadow business secretary, has now issued a response. He’s accused Cameron of inconsistency.

The prime minister is totally confused and inconsistent – last month he gave a “moral capitalism” speech saying he would stand up to vested interests for the sake of our economy, our businesses and society, but this month he has abandoned that agenda instead seeking to smear those who argue for a more responsible capitalism by claiming they are anti wealth creation and guilty of snobbery.

While millions of hard-working British families are struggling to pay their heating bills and our real wealth creators are struggling to access the finance ministers promised, David Cameron has abandoned the pretence that he will tackle irresponsible capitalism. He has chosen the very day when RBS dishes out hundreds of million in bonuses to loss-making investment bankers and British Gas announces huge profits to declare a truce with vested interests.

Umunna also criticised Cameron over the RBS bonus payments.

Having gone around lecturing other shareholders to take an active role in ensuring pay restraint in the country’s boardrooms and the City, the prime minister has failed to practice what he preaches when it comes to the government’s role as principal shareholder in RBS.

By failing to act, David Cameron has shown just how out of touch he is with investor groups like the Association of British Insurers and business leaders like Sir Mike Darrington, who have said there needs to be change and reform. Now even one of his own senior backbenchers is saying he has failed to crackdown on ‘crony capitalism’.

The senior backbencher is David Davis, whose comments in the latest edition of Prospect I quoted in the live blog yesterday.

9.00am: We’ve got quite a mix today – heavy-duty geopolitics (the conference on Somalia), low-grade Commons alleged yobbery (Labour MP Eric Joyce reportedly arrested on suspicion of assault), a prime ministerial speech (on business) and yet another row about bankers and their bonuses (RBS announcing a £2bn loss, while its employees trouser bonuses worth £390m.) It should be busy. Here’s the agenda for the day.

10.10am: David Cameron opens an international conference on Somalia. There are full details of the conference on the Foreign Office website and the Guardian’s coverage of the conference is here.

2.30pm: David Cameron speaks at the Business in the Community conference. As Patrick Wintour reports in the Guardian, Cameron will signal his determination to produce a pro-growth budget by saying he is sick of the dangerous anti-business snobbery creeping into national debate, promising his focus is economic expansion and reducing joblessness among young people.

3pm: David Lidington, the Europe minister, gives evidence to the Commons European scrutiny committee on the Eurozone.

Cameron hosts a press conference at the end of the Somalia conference with Ban Ki Moon, the UN secretary general.

As usual, I’ll be covering all the breaking political news, as well as looking at the papers and bringing you the best politics from the web. I’ll post a lunchtime summary at around 1pm and another in the afternoon.

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from Andrew Sparrow

via http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2012/feb/23/politics-live-blog-cameron-business-somalia

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