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Theresa May MP

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  • 09:33 Ken Clarke: EU debate has been disastrous On air

    On Air | Ken Clarke MP | Conservative MP | Andrew Marr Show, BBC One Video Ken Clarke MP

    Ken Clarke bemoaned the “disastrous” debate about Britain’s membership of the European Union. “We’ve had a rather silly debate about Europe over the last six months. In fact, the political debate in this country over the last six months ... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Friday 19th December
  • 06:56 Paul Goodman blog: Theresa May’s special adviser claims to have been removed from the candidates list after refusing to break the SpAd code of conduct News

    Blog | ConservativeHome source icon

    A tale that involves a special adviser to Theresa May, the blocking of his application by CCHQ, and his removal from the candidates list on highly contentious grounds Continue to article

  • = Key Development Thursday 18th December
  • 17:17 Story (3 links): May's mental health shake up

    PoliticsHome May's mental health shake up Story View links

    The Government has confirmed it will bring in legislation to stop teenagers and children experiencing mental health problems being held in police cells.

    Home Secretary Theresa May said that there was “no place for [keeping children in police cells] in our society”. 

    Care Minister Norman Lamb added that keeping mentally-ill people in police stations was an “unacceptable state of affairs”.

    The new legislation would also see the length of time people suffering from mental distress can be detained reduced from 72 to 24 hours.

  • 12:07 Labour welcomes steps to cap the amount of time people can normally be kept on police bail - Jack Dromey Press Release

    12:07| Press Release

    Labour press release Jack Dromey MP, Labour's Shadow Policing Minister, said: "Labour welcomes steps to cap the amount of time people can normally be kept on police bail. "People under investigation should know as soon as possible if... Continue to article

  • 11:40 Story (6 links): Bail for suspects reduced to 28 days

    PoliticsHome Bail for suspects reduced to 28 days Story View links

    The Home Secretary has today announced plans to limit bail for criminal suspects to 28 days.

    Under the new proposals, the four-week deadline will only be extended in exceptional circumstances.

    The reforms will end the practice of bail being extended indefinitely, but the move has reportedly been met with opposition from the police and some legal figures.

    Announcing the launch of a consultation on the plans, Theresa May said in a statement: "This government is determined to support the police as they work tirelessly to bring justice to victims.

    "But it cannot be right that people can spend months or even years on pre-charge bail with no oversight. That is why we launched a review to fundamentally re-examine the way pre-charge bail is used and authorised.

    "I believe we need a statutory time limit in place to ensure people do not spend months or even years on bail, only for no charges to be brought. I encourage people to share their views and help shape these reforms."


  • 11:07 Source:Statutory time limits for police bail News

    Source | UK Parliament source icon

    Continue to article

  • 10:06 Roy Greenslade blog: I salute Theresa May for limiting the use of police bail News

    Blog | The Guardian source icon

    I salute Theresa May for seeing the light on this matter and being prepared to take on the police over a matter of civil and human rights. Continue to article

  • = Key Development Tuesday 16th December
  • 12:51 Lobby:No 10: EVEL is not about House of Lords Lobby Briefings

    12:51 | Lobby Briefings | PoliticsHome Lobby Briefings

    The Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman updated journalists on what was discussed at Cabinet this morning. He said that Theresa May and Eric Pickles gave an update on work to tackle child sexual exploitation; Sajid Javid gave an update o... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Monday 15th December
  • 17:37 Story (9 links): May denies torture report redactions

    PoliticsHome May denies torture report redactions Story View links

    The Home Secretary has denied asking for redactions in the CIA torture report and rejected calls for a judge-led inquiry into British involvement in US-led torture.  

    Appearing in front of the Home Affairs Committee this afternoon, Theresa May told MPs: “I have certainly not asked for any redactions to take place in the report.”       

    She did not say whether other Home Office officials had asked for the redactions, but added that they would only have been requested for reasons of national security.

    Ms May rejected the need for a judge-led inquiry into questions on the role of British troops in the torture, saying that the Intelligence and Security Committee would carry out adequate investigations.

    “I think there is proper committee in place to undertake the inquiry,” she said.    

    She also said that she had no knowledge of UK forces being complicit in torture, telling the Committee: “I am not aware of any evidence that British agents or officials have been involved in any way.”

    The British Government, she said, had set out “very clear guidance” on how British forces should conduct themselves on the issue. 

    Amid reports former prime minister Tony Blair and former foreign secretary Jack Straw could be called to give evidence, Nick Clegg told his monthly press conference today that anyone found to have been complicit in mistreatment should face the"full rule of the law".

    The Deputy Prime Minister said: "The next pragmatic step is to let the police get on with their work as soon as possible but also...to go, as [Intelligence and Security Committee chair] Malcolm Rifkind has said, in pursuit of the truth without any fear or favour, including calling as witnesses, as individuals who need to be further questioned, politicians who were in charge...of the government at the time."

    A spokesperson for Mr Blair issued a statement this afternoon saying that the former prime minister had "always been opposed to the use of torture" and had "always said so publicly and privately".

    "He believes the fight against radical Islamism is a fight about values, and acting contrary to those values - as in the use of torture - is therefore not just wrong but counter-productive," the spokesperson added.

  • 17:31 Theresa May denies asking for redactions in CIA torture report House of Commons

    Theresa May denies asking for redactions in CIA torture report House of Commons

    The Home Secretary has today denied asking for redactions in the CIA torture report and  rejected calls for a judge-led inquiry into British involvement in orture.   Appearing in front of the Home Affairs Committee this afternoon, Theres... Continue to article

  • 09:11 Isabel Hardman blog: Theresa May’s moral mission: Home Secretary to stop sick children being locked up News

    Blog | Coffee House source icon

    Theresa May will announce changes the Mental Health Act this week that mean mentally ill teenagers are never held in police cells when they should be in a hospital bed. Continue to article

  • 07:25 Rory Stewart: Does Britain really fully understand Iraq mission? On air

    On Air | Rory Stewart MP | Defence Select Committee chair | Today, BBC Radio 4 Video Rory Stewart MP

    Rory Stewart questioned whether the UK had an overall strategy for tackling Islamic State militants in Iraq. "I think the biggest question is over the overall mission. Training the Iraqi army is something that's happened a great deal ove... Continue to article

  • 07:00 Isabel Hardman: Disturbed children need a doctor, not a night in the cells (£) News

    Opinion | The Times source icon

    Theresa May is right to argue for change to the custody laws Continue to article

  • = Key Development Friday 12th December
  • 17:26 House of Commons Business Commons Business

    17:26 | Commons Business | PoliticsHome Commons Business

    COMMONS CHAMBER 2:30pm: Communities and Local Government questions (topicals at 3:15pm) Main business Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (England) Regulations 2014: Motion to revoke Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill: Committee (Day 2... Continue to article

  • 11:45 Lobby:Number 10: May met US Senate Intelligence Committee Lobby Briefings

    11:45 | Lobby Briefings | PoliticsHome Lobby Briefings

    Theresa May met members of the US Senate Intelligence Committee ahead of publication of its report on the CIA's abuse of detainees, Downing Street has confirmed. According to a document seen by the Daily Mail, UK ministers and diplomats ... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Thursday 11th December
  • 22:42 "I had to do what I thought was right" News

    Blog | Total Politics source icon

    "She knew about the Trojan Horse plot, I told her,” Tommy Robinson says of the home secretary Theresa May. Continue to article

  • = Key Development Wednesday 10th December
  • 13:13 Labour slams Government on Syrian refugee numbers PoliticsHome News

    Labour slams Government on Syrian refugee numbers PoliticsHome News

    Labour has attacked the Government’s record on helping to resettle Syrian refugees, and called on them to join the UN’s scheme of offering places to those in need instead. Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, during an Urgent Question in... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Monday 8th December
  • 13:14 In Brief Events

    13:14 | Events | PoliticsHome Events

    A by-election takes place to elect two hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords following the death of Viscount Allenby and the retirement of Lord Cobbold Prime Minister David Cameron continues his visit to Turkey before traveling t... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Thursday 4th December
  • 11:06 Government reviewing extradition countries list – May PoliticsHome News

    Government reviewing extradition countries list – May PoliticsHome News

    The UK is reviewing the list of countries with which it has extradition arrangements, the Home Secretary has said. Theresa May told the House of Lords Extradition Law Committee that some states currently included on the UK’s list of safe... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Tuesday 2nd December
  • 17:04 Terror suspects can challenge exclusion orders in the courts, says May House of Commons

    Terror suspects can challenge exclusion orders in the courts, says May House of Commons Terror suspects can challenge exclusion orders in the courts, says May

    Terror suspects subject to new "managed return" anti-terror powers will be able to appeal them through judicial review, Theresa May has confirmed. Temporary Exclusion Orders are one of the key measures included in the Government's new Co... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Monday 1st December
  • 15:37 In Brief Events

    15:37 | Events | PoliticsHome Events

    Home Secretary Theresa May attends the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Brussels. She also attends a Santa Marta conference in London on slavery with Modern Slavery Minister Karen Bradley Environment Secretary Liz Truss visits Norfolk... Continue to article

  • 14:56 House of Lords Business Lords Business

    14:56 | Lords Business | PoliticsHome Lords Business

    LORDS CHAMBER 11.00am:  Oral questions, to ask the government: - Whether they have made representations to the government of Iran on behalf of Ghoncheh Ghavami, a joint British and Iranian citizen who was jailed for a year after attend... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Friday 28th November
  • 17:17 Theresa May: Tories recognise that people want further cuts to immigration On air

    On Air | Theresa May MP | Home Secretary | PM, BBC Radio 4 Video Theresa May MP

    Theresa May said the Conservatives wanted to go further in cutting immigration from the European Union in order to allay the public’s concerns.   “What people should look at it is what we have been doing in those areas in relation to net... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Tuesday 25th November
  • 16:24 Home Office failed in vetting abuse inquiry chair, top civil servant admits PoliticsHome News

    Home Office failed in vetting abuse inquiry chair, top civil servant admits PoliticsHome News

    Tests to determine who should chair the Government’s inquiry into historic child abuse were not tough enough, the Home Office’s Permanent Secretary has admitted. Mark Sedwill told the Home Affairs Select Committee that the conflict of in... Continue to article

  • 08:00 Yvette Cooper blog: Labour will stem the tide of women’s refuge closures News

    Blog | Comment is Free source icon

    Theresa May and the Home Office are turning a blind eye to the crisis in safe haven provision caused public service cuts. Continue to article

  • 07:00 Quentin Letts: Theresa May, a woman of action, a female Rambo! News

    Opinion | The Daily Mail source icon

    Well, well, both Theresa May and Owen Paterson had arranged big speeches for the first Monday morning after the Rochester by-election Continue to article

  • 00:00 Harry Cole blog: Theresa May: a big beast in kitten heels News

    Blog | Coffee House source icon

    In the latest issue of Spectator Life, out this Thursday, Harry Cole profiles the Home Secretary Theresa May. Continue to article

  • = Key Development Monday 24th November
  • 17:01 In Brief Events

    17:01 | Events | PoliticsHome Events

    Home Secretary Theresa May speaks at a Women’s Aid event in the House of Commons (4:00pm) Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has announced further roll out of universal credit Crime Prevention Minister Lynne Featherstone pu... Continue to article

  • 15:45 Johnson raises concern over May's external announcement PoliticsHome News

    Johnson raises concern over May's external announcement PoliticsHome News

    Diana Johnson raised concern at government announcements of policy that were released outside of the House of Commons. The Labour MP for Kingston Upon Hull North asked Speaker Bercow during a Point of Order in the Commons whether it was ... Continue to article

  • 12:59 Transcript: Theresa May speech on terror powers Transcripts

    Theresa May speech on terror powers Transcripts

    Theresa May Speech 24-11-14 Continue to article

  • 11:50 Lobby:No 10: No change on net migration plan Lobby Briefings

    11:50 | Lobby Briefings | PoliticsHome Lobby Briefings

    Downing Street has said there has been "no change in position" over its plan to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands, in spite of Theresa May saying at the weekend that it was "unlikely" to be met. The Home Secretary told the An... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Sunday 23rd November
  • 09:50 Theresa May: Unlikely net migration will be cut to tens of thousands On air

    On Air | Theresa May MP | Home Secretary | The Andrew Marr Show, BBC One Video Theresa May MP

    Theresa May said the Government was "unlikely" to meet its target of bringing net migration down to the tens of thousands. “We have talking about dealing with net migration, the numbers of people coming into the UK, since before the elec... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Thursday 20th November
  • 23:30 Burnham declares war on 'BNP-style Ukip' PoliticsHome News

    Burnham declares war on 'BNP-style Ukip' PoliticsHome News

    Andy Burnham accused Ukip of having “dangerous” views on immigration and vowed that Labour would take them on. Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary denied on BBC Question Time that Ukip had been right all along, but admitted that they had be... Continue to article

  • 08:48 Waugh Room: Migrating the Message The Waugh Room

    08:48 | The Waugh Room | PoliticsHome The Waugh Room Migrating the Message

      David Cameron won’t want to be seen to be dancing to UKIP’s tune tomorrow as the Rochester result comes in. But I’ve been told that he’s strongly leaning towards making his long-awaited Big Announcement on EU migration reform before... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Wednesday 19th November
  • 16:20 Govt to vote with Labour on EAW, May confirms House of Commons

    Govt to vote with Labour on EAW, May confirms House of Commons

    Theresa May has confirmed that the Government will back a Labour motion on the European Arrest Warrant this evening.  In a letter to her Opposition counterpart Yvette Cooper, published by Labour today, the Home Secretary said: "Given tha... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Tuesday 18th November
  • 16:37 Home Office admits 'challenge' meeting immigration cap House of Commons

    Home Office admits 'challenge' meeting immigration cap House of Commons

    A Home Office minister has admitted that reducing net migration to the tens of thousands is now “much more challenging”. In a subtle shift in rhetoric, James Brokenshire told the Home Affairs Committee that the Government was now focused... Continue to article

  • 16:16 Story (3 links): Consultation into police whistle-blowing changes

    PoliticsHome Consultation into police whistle-blowing changes Story View links

    Widespread changes to the police disciplinary system have been announced as part of a Government consultation to strengthen protections for police whistle-blowers.

    Proposals include plans for disciplinary hearings to be held in public, to be given the power to adjust compensations payments, legally-qualified chairs, and safeguards against whistle-blowers to ensure they do not face action for flagging up concerns.

    “It is essential that officers and staff have confidence that reporting wrongdoing will be a positive experience and not result in detrimental treatment by their force or colleagues,” the consultation states.

    Theresa May announced in July a full independent review of the police disciplinary system and a review of the complaints system including the IPCC, in an attempt to improve transparency.

    The Home Secretary aims to implement the changes by next March, and the consultation will collect information until the 2 January.

  • 14:13 Theresa May: I want constables to lead on tackling under-recording of crime On air

    On Air | Theresa May MP | Home Secretary | Sky News Video Theresa May MP

    Theresa May condemned reports of the under-recording of sex crimes, and said that she wants to see constables leading on improving these issues. "I am very clear that the under-recording of crime is unacceptable. We want to ensure that t... Continue to article

  • 12:00 Yvette Cooper speech - Labour’s approach to immigration Press Release

    12:00| Press Release

    A press release from Labour: From doorstep to doorstep, street stall to school gate, coffee morning to public meeting, Labour MPs and candidates are talking to thousands of people every week. And we know that three things come up more... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Monday 17th November
  • 17:17 In Brief Events

    17:17 | Events | PoliticsHome Events

    Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to chair a COBRA meeting in London and visits Rochester and Strood ahead of Thursday's by-election  Home Secretary Theresa May (11:00am) and Police Minister Mike Penning (3:30pm) speak at the Asso... Continue to article

  • 15:14 May in stark terror warning as Tpims called into question House of Commons

    May in stark terror warning as Tpims called into question House of Commons

    Theresa May has issued a stark warning for the UK following the murder of a fifth hostage by Islamic State militants. The Home Secretary said the killing showed Britain faced a “deadly threat…at home and abroad” and promised urgent actio... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Friday 14th November
  • 13:06 Transcript: Full letter from Yvette Cooper to Theresa May on Julien Blanc Transcripts

    Full letter from Yvette Cooper to Theresa May on Julien Blanc Transcripts

    Rt Hon Theresa May MP Home Secretary Home Office 2 Marsham Street London SW1P 4DF Dear Theresa I am writing regarding an individual reportedly expected to travel to the UK later in November and your powers to personally... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Monday 10th November
  • 17:19 May accused of undermining parliament over EAW vote House of Commons

    May accused of undermining parliament over EAW vote House of Commons

    The Home Secretary has received a barrage of criticism today over the Government’s decision to exclude the European Arrest Warrant from the vote on EU legal measures. It emerged earlier that the vote, which will take place later this eve... Continue to article

  • 16:58 House of Commons Business Commons Business

    16:58 | Commons Business | PoliticsHome Commons Business

    COMMONS CHAMBER 12:00pm: Justice questions (topicals at 12.45pm) Main business Ten minute rule motion: National Defence Medal Bill (Stephen Gilbert, Lib Dem, St Austell and Newquay) National Insurance Contributions Bill: Report s... Continue to article

  • 12:35 Yvette Cooper: Labour stands behind Ed Miliband as leader On air

    On Air | Yvette Cooper MP | Shadow home secretary | BBC News Video Yvette Cooper MP

    Yvette Cooper said there was “strong support” for Ed Miliband’s leadership of the Labour party. “I think he is [in a strong position]. He’s talking today about the threat to businesses and jobs if we carry on down David Cameron’s route o... Continue to article

  • 08:26 Theresa May: EAW vote about law and order, not EU reform On air

    On Air | Theresa May MP | Home Secretary | Today, BBC Radio 4 Video Theresa May MP

    Theresa May said today’s Commons vote on the EU justice and home affairs directives, including European Arrest Warrant, was about practical law and order issues, not wider calls for reform. “The debate today is about law and order issues... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Wednesday 5th November
  • 11:44 Tim Farron: Home Office circumstances led to Baker resignation On air

    On Air | Theresa May MP | Home Secretary | Video Theresa May MP

    Tim Farron rejected a suggestion Norman Baker had been a maverick minister, and criticised Theresa May's running of the Home Office. "I think that's an unfair characterisation of Norman. You've got to remember that he's been in governmen... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Tuesday 4th November
  • 13:04 Malcolm Bruce: Tensions in the Home Office is due Theresa May's right wing approach On air

    On Air | Sir Malcolm Bruce MP | Deputy leader, Liberal Democra... | BBC News Video Sir Malcolm Bruce MP

    Malcom Bruce said the resignation of Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker from his ministerial position at the Home Office was a “perfectly reasonable proposition”.     “Norman, I have to tell you, is somebody who gives everything when he ta... Continue to article

  • 08:22 Tim Farron: Coalition remains strong, despite Baker resignation On air

    On Air | Tim Farron MP | Liberal Democrat President | Today, BBC Radio 4 Video Tim Farron MP

    Tim Farron insisted the Coalition remained strong despite Norman Baker’s resignation from the Home Office, which he described as the “exception that proves the rule”. “I suspect that she must have known for some time that he’d been unhap... Continue to article

  • = Key Development Monday 3rd November
  • 23:31 James Forsyth blog: Norman Baker quits as a Home Office minister News

    Blog | Coffee House source icon

    Norman Baker has resigned as a Home Office minister tonight. Baker has quit, blaming the difficulties of working with Theresa May and the squeeze that ministerial office has put on… Continue reading T... Continue to article

  • 16:06 In Brief Events

    16:06 | Events | PoliticsHome Events

    Chancellor George Osborne is expected to make an announcement on Libor; and hosts a reception at 11 Downing Street for military charities Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg hosts the Centre for Cities Northern Futures summit in Leeds (10:0... Continue to article

Stories involving Theresa May

May's mental health shake up

The Government has confirmed it will bring in legislation to stop teenagers and children experiencing mental health problems being held in police cells.

Home Secretary Theresa May said that there was “no place for [keeping children in police cells] in our society”. 

Care Minister Norman Lamb added that keeping mentally-ill people in police stations was an “unacceptable state of affairs”.

The new legislation would also see the length of time people suffering from mental distress can be detained reduced from 72 to 24 hours.


May denies torture report redactions

The Home Secretary has denied asking for redactions in the CIA torture report and rejected calls for a judge-led inquiry into British involvement in US-led torture.  

Appearing in front of the Home Affairs Committee this afternoon, Theresa May told MPs: “I have certainly not asked for any redactions to take place in the report.”       

She did not say whether other Home Office officials had asked for the redactions, but added that they would only have been requested for reasons of national security.

Ms May rejected the need for a judge-led inquiry into questions on the role of British troops in the torture, saying that the Intelligence and Security Committee would carry out adequate investigations.

“I think there is proper committee in place to undertake the inquiry,” she said.    

She also said that she had no knowledge of UK forces being complicit in torture, telling the Committee: “I am not aware of any evidence that British agents or officials have been involved in any way.”

The British Government, she said, had set out “very clear guidance” on how British forces should conduct themselves on the issue. 

Amid reports former prime minister Tony Blair and former foreign secretary Jack Straw could be called to give evidence, Nick Clegg told his monthly press conference today that anyone found to have been complicit in mistreatment should face the"full rule of the law".

The Deputy Prime Minister said: "The next pragmatic step is to let the police get on with their work as soon as possible but also...to go, as [Intelligence and Security Committee chair] Malcolm Rifkind has said, in pursuit of the truth without any fear or favour, including calling as witnesses, as individuals who need to be further questioned, politicians who were in charge...of the government at the time."

A spokesperson for Mr Blair issued a statement this afternoon saying that the former prime minister had "always been opposed to the use of torture" and had "always said so publicly and privately".

"He believes the fight against radical Islamism is a fight about values, and acting contrary to those values - as in the use of torture - is therefore not just wrong but counter-productive," the spokesperson added.


Abuse inquiry panel to meet

The panel of the inquiry looking into historic child abuse will meet for the first time today, despite being without a chairperson.

It comes after a review into the Home Office’s handling of documents relating to abuse allegations found no evidence of a cover-up, but could not rule one out.

Home Secretary Theresa May has written to the authors of the report for further reassurance, but David Cameron said that those “looking for conspiracy theories” would “have to look elsewhere”.


Bail for suspects reduced to 28 days

The Home Secretary has today announced plans to limit bail for criminal suspects to 28 days.

Under the new proposals, the four-week deadline will only be extended in exceptional circumstances.

The reforms will end the practice of bail being extended indefinitely, but the move has reportedly been met with opposition from the police and some legal figures.

Announcing the launch of a consultation on the plans, Theresa May said in a statement: "This government is determined to support the police as they work tirelessly to bring justice to victims.

"But it cannot be right that people can spend months or even years on pre-charge bail with no oversight. That is why we launched a review to fundamentally re-examine the way pre-charge bail is used and authorised.

"I believe we need a statutory time limit in place to ensure people do not spend months or even years on bail, only for no charges to be brought. I encourage people to share their views and help shape these reforms."



Consultation into police whistle-blowing changes

Widespread changes to the police disciplinary system have been announced as part of a Government consultation to strengthen protections for police whistle-blowers.

Proposals include plans for disciplinary hearings to be held in public, to be given the power to adjust compensations payments, legally-qualified chairs, and safeguards against whistle-blowers to ensure they do not face action for flagging up concerns.

“It is essential that officers and staff have confidence that reporting wrongdoing will be a positive experience and not result in detrimental treatment by their force or colleagues,” the consultation states.

Theresa May announced in July a full independent review of the police disciplinary system and a review of the complaints system including the IPCC, in an attempt to improve transparency.

The Home Secretary aims to implement the changes by next March, and the consultation will collect information until the 2 January.


Cameron vows seven-day GPs

David Cameron has unveiled plans to see GP surgeries open 12 hours a day, seven days a week by 2020.

The policy is part of a new contract for GPs set out at the Conservaitve Party conference in Birmingham.

“People need to be able to see their GP at a time that suits them and their family. That’s why we will make sure everyone can see a GP seven days a week by 2020,” the Prime Minister said.

 Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed that 5,000 more GPs would receive training, and said a future Conservative government would "have no greater priority than to protect and invest in our NHS."

He promised to give patients access to their medical records online by next April, and also warned Labour against claiming to be the party of the NHS.

"It's not a Labour health service or a Conservative health service, it’s a National Health Service," he said.

Conservative MP and chair of the Health Select Committee Sarah Wollaston welcomed the move to boost GP numbers.

"What I was pleased about is to see recognition that it can’t be achieved without addressing the workforce shortfall in general practice," she told BBC News.

But Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association's GP committee, warned that the announcement failed to take into account "the current reality" facing doctors.

"We need immediate solutions to the extreme pressures that GP practices are facing, with inadequate numbers of GPs and practice staff to manage increasing volume of patients, who are already having to wait too long for care," he told ITV news.