New curbs on legal fees which cost NHS £259m on top of compo pay-outs


FAT cat lawyers are to be banned from cashing in on NHS blunders by charging sky-high legal fees.

Ministers aim to save £80 million a year by halting rip-off legal bills hospitals are forced to pay on top of compo for botched operations.

More than £2.50 in every tenner paid out goes straight to lawyers – who sometimes pocket more than the negligence victims.

One legal firm slapped in an £80,000 bill for representing a patient who received just £1,000.

In another case, a solicitor charged the NHS £175,000 after helping a patient to win only £11,800.

But new rules being drawn up by the government will end the “excessive” and “extortionate” practice by capping how much lawyers can demand handling low-cost claims.

They will in future only be able to charge a fixed percentage of the damages  of up to £100,000 won by a patient.

The predicted savings will be enough to pay for 1,870 extra nurses, 14,000 hip or knee replacements or 112,000 cataract ops.

Health minister Ben Gummer said: “Safe, compassionate care is my upmost priority and to achieve this, the NHS must make sure every penny counts.

Ben Gummer
Ben Gummer

“Unscrupulously, some lawyers have used patient claims to load grossly excessive costs on to the NHS and charge far more than the patient receives in compensation.

“Our one nation approach is about being on the side of hard-working taxpayers and these financial controls will ensure money is pumped back into patient care.”

Last year the NHS paid out £1.2billion in clinical negligence claims, of which £259 million was paid to patients’ lawyers.

Injury claim (Getty)
Injury claim (Getty)

Many firms work on a “no win, no fee” basis raising fears that “claims farmers” are encouraging more patients to sue.

Mr Gummer vowed that any savings from the new cap would go straight back into frontline NHS care, along with the £2billion budget increase for this year.

Emma Hallinan, of the  Medical Protection Society, said: “It’s great that the government is tackling this important issue. A new approach is desperately needed.

“We have been calling for a fixed cost regime to help address the rising cost of clinical negligence and it is fantastic to see that the government plans to cap excessive legal fees that are placing such a burden on the public purse.”

Yvette Cooper: I’ll be nobody’s puppet

YVETTE Cooper has told hubby Ed Balls that SHE wears the trousers now as shesteps up her bid to become Labour’s first woman leader.

She insists her other half – between jobs after losing his seat – won’t be pulling the strings from home if she wins.

Mum-of-three Ms Cooper declared: “I won’t be anyone’s puppet. I can think for myself.

“I have my own ideas, my own vision and if I am lucky enough to be elected leader I will be entirely my own person.”

In an exclusive interview, she told how she aims to “smash the glass ceiling” and land the job her husband failed to secure five years ago.

Ms Cooper, 46, believes there has never been a better time for the party of women’s rights to hand the crown to a woman.

And she admits her first task must be to win back millions of voters – including Sun readers – who deserted them on May 7.

Feisty Mrs Cooper, 46, believes she is caring, experienced and tough enough to lead her stricken party back into power – and can do it without Ed’s help.

She pointed at a photo-mosaic portrait of Suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst, created from tiny photos of famous women, on the wall of her Commons office.

“Remember what they said about her 100 years ago?” she asked. “They said married women shouldn’t be allowed to vote because they would do what their husbands told them.

“Well, here’s a surprise. Women have ideas of their own. They can think for themselves. And that’s what I will do if I become leader.

“I’ll always be my own person. I’ll stand up for women and men across the country who want to do their own thing, have their own ideas and get on.

“Yes, that will mean challenging prejudice, sexism and different kinds of attitudes. But I think we can smash the glass ceiling, do things in a different way and shake up the system.

“But we can do it in a way that includes everybody and makes everybody feel part of this rather than just turning people away.”

Unlike her husband, the former shadow chancellor, smart, elfin-faced Ms Cooper is free of toxic links to ex-PM Gordon Brown.

The comprehensive schooled daughter of a union chief was a twenty-something when she became an MP in Tony Blair’s landslide victory of 1997.

Eighteen years on, the “Blair’s Babe” has come of age and says she’s ready to make history herself.

She vowed to break up the old boys’ club that rules Westminster and put the family back at the heart of politics – with policies she dreams up at the school gates.

Ms Cooper said: “Politicians should go to where people are and not just expect them to come to Westminster.

“Instead of having meeting public meetings or waiting for constituents to turn up at my surgeries, I just go and stand at the school gates, talk to other mums and dads, hand out a few leaflets and chat to parents and grandparents, often, as well.

“Many people come up with problems they are having, maybe about housing, work or something in the town. But you have to chat at the school gates.

Labour grew too narrow in its appeal under Ed Miliband, she says, offering only sticking plaster solutions to problems instead of big visions for the future.

The shadow home secretary added: “Our party needs a strong sense of direction. We have to include as many people as possible .

“I want to have everybody to feel they can be proud to support the Labour party and for us to feel proud to support them in their lives.

“We need to put families at the heart of our politics. As a mum, I feel very strongly about that because my family, my kids are the most important thing in my life.

“That has to be reflected in what we do. We were just too narrow and we’ve got to reach out and rebuild and that means winning back voters we lost to Ukip, the Tories and the SNP.

“We’ve got to be able to do it across the whole country – Scotland, England, Wales, north, south, big cities, small towns, tiny communities.

“What the SNP is doing is dividing us. I care just as much about kids growing up in poverty in Lanarkshire as in Leeds or London. Wherever you live, we should be supporting each other.

“I want us all to have a sense of coming together. So yes, that does mean that the Labour party has to rebuild, it has to change and it has to reach outward.

“Sun readers are incredibly important because it’s about letting everybody across the country know that Labour is supporting their ambitions in life.

“They all share a common desire – to improve their living standards and feel confident about their kids’ future.

“We’ve got to show practical things we can do to help families get on, to know their kids can get an apprenticeship, have a good start in life and go to university.

“They need to know that not only will there be good jobs in the future but that they’ll be able to climb the career ladder and get on.”

Yvette Cooper talks to David Wooding

Yvette Cooper talks to David Wooding

Sitting in her office, overlooking Parliament Square the Ms Cooper expressed dismay at Labour MPs who say it will take 10 years to put the party on its feet – and insists under her leadership it can be ready for power in 2020.

She said: “With me as leader, I’m determined we can win at the next election. We can do that by reaching out to as many people as possible. “

Ms Cooper believes being a working mum gives her the edge, added: “Support for families is not just about childcare. It is really important but we have to support families and understand the things parents worry about for the future.

“I’ve always been a big supporter of SureStart centres, which are about health and parenting support. They’re about mums getting to know each other so they’re not isolated. It’s broader and if you see it.”

Ms Cooper admits she faces a tough battle to finish ahead of rivals Andy Burnham, Liz Kendall and Jeremy Corbyn when the new leader is picked in September.

But she believes she can unite the party and added: “We have to drop the old labels of left and right, Blair and Brown.

“My family are from the northern coalfield towns. Dad was a trade union official, my grandfather a miner and my mum a maths teacher.

“For me politics has always been about giving everyone a fair chance in life – whatever their background.”

Is she tough enough to be PM?

“Experience matters, “ she said, “and it’s made me strong enough to deal with it. I’m really up for this.

“We’ve had over 100 years of fighting for women’s equality in the Labour party – ever since the Suffragettes.

“Today 43 per cent of our MPs are female, which is more than double the Conservatives, and electing a woman leader is long overdue.

“So I think it is time we smashed that one last glass ceiling in our party. We have the chance to shake up the Westminster old boys’ club and do things differently and that’s what I’m going to be fighting for.”

ED Balls has been a perfect “house husband” since he lost his seat on May 7.

The former shadow chancellor is developing his domestic skills – and serving up tasty meals for his young family.

Ms Cooper said: “When we first moved in together, I used to do all the cooking. But then he had a go and he’s really into it.

“Now he’s doing all the cooking. He can do all kinds of things. He likes barbecue dishes particularly but is expanding his repertoire a bit recently.”

There were tears when Mr Balls was voted out in one of the biggest shocks of election night and he’s taking a break before deciding what to do next.

His wife added: “He’s spending a lot of time answering emails. He’s received lots of supportive messages, including from the Tories and people who liked the speech he gave on the night.”

She was a football widow again as Ed went to Wembley to watch his beloved Norwich City clinch promotion to the Premiership after defeating Middlesbrough in the play-off final.

But she had her way a couple of nights before when the family gathered around the TV to watch the Eurovision song contest.

“I really like Eurovision,” she said.

In their spare time they watch boxed sets of series including Friday Night Lights and Nashville.

Ms Cooper manages to juggle motherhood with being a top politician.

But the biggest demand on her time is being family “taxi driver” for Ellie, 15, Joel, 13, and Maddy, 10.

“I feel I spend most of my time being a cab service for the kids,” she joked.

“On the night of the election debate we had two of them in a school performance so we went to watch.

“I came out and all these calls, texts and emails flooded in. I was looking at my phone trying to catch up what was going on as I walked along and bumped into a lamp post.

“But I wouldn’t change anything because being with the kids are such precious times.

FOREIGN visitors should be charged a £10 visa waiver fee to pay for extra border controls, Ms Cooper says.

She thinks net immigration could be cut if everyone was counted in and out of the country.

British tourists who travel to the USA and some non-EU countries have to pay to register their details online – but it’s free for those coming here.

Ms Cooper said: “Why not have the same system of charges that other countries have so we could raise enough money for a thousand extra border staff.

“Let’s have strong enforcement but make sure the staff are in place to do the job – and taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill.”

She admitted the last Labour government got it wrong by not demanding transitional controls for Eastern European migrants.

Immigration should be controlled and managed so that it’s fair, she said.

Under her leadership, Labour would stop undercutting of wages by migrants but ensure those who want to create jobs are given help to do so.

CHILDREN should be taught computer coding at school to get them ready for jobs of the future, Yvette Cooper says.

She believes all kids should learn how to create websites and apps to help get Britain back on track in the modern world.

Ms Cooper says it is now as important a skill as learning the three Rs and vowed that a government led by her would make it compulsory.

“It’s vital we catch up in the skills race,” she said. “People want to know their kids have the best chance in life once they leave school.

“Where are the digital jobs going to be? What chance are they going to have? Are we making sure that all our children learn coding at school?

“So many of the jobs of the future are going to depend on internet and digital and yet 95 per cent of the coding is done by men.

“We want people from all walks of life and from every back ground to have the chance of the best jobs in the future.”

LABOUR was slow off the mark to reform the benefits system last the party was in power, Yvette Cooper admits.

She says work must pay and it is important that people pay into the system when they can.

But she stressed: “We have to make sure that people who are suffering from serious disabilities also get the support that they need as well.” Ms Cooper says Labour was right to focus on getting young people into work when it first won power in 1997.

However, she added: “We were slow to start the incapacity benefit reforms.

“It took a long time to then start changing the systems around incapacity  benefits and making sure there were proper systems in place. We should have done more and acknowledged that things like childcare are really important, too.

“Childcare costs have soared through the roof and families feel really stretched. You have stay at home mums feeling guilty staying at home, mums at work feeling guilty for going out to work, and everyone feeling under pressure. I want to do more to support all families.”

Yvette in brief…

1969: Born in Inverness to trade union official Tony and maths teacher June.

1990: Researcher for Labour MP John Smith.

1992: Adviser to Bill Clinton in the US.

1997: Wins safe seat of Pontefract and Castleford.

1998: Weds Ed Balls.

2007: Lands her first ministerial job – housing

2008 Promoted to Cabinet as Chief Treasury Secretary.

2011: Appointed Shadow Home Secretary.

2015: Launches leadership bid

Labour “rebel” with a cause


WANNABE Labour leader Liz Kendall told yesterday of her lifelong “rebel” streak which she hopes will propel her party back into power.

The feisty MP admits she’s a born agitator – making her well qualified to break up the old guard standing in the way of change.

Despite being a new face to most voters, she says that makes her the only “sure bet” to put Labour on the path to government again.

Unlike her two main rivals – Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper – Ms Kendall has never held a Cabinet post.

But she’s been “leading from the front” since she was made head girl at pop star Geri Halliwell’s old school, Watford Grammar.

“I always thought myself as a bit of a rebel,” she declared. “So when they pinned the badge on me I couldn’t believe it.

“On the first day, I had full make-up on and the headmistress called me in and said ‘You’ve got to wipe all that off your face’. I remember thinking I don’t want to do this.

“But being head girl gave me an early taste of responsibility. I relish it and never shirk it. I don’t know why but I’ve always liked leading from the front.”

Ms Kendall, 44, also ran after-school sports clubs and societies and also captained the ladies’ football team at Queens’College, Cambridge.

She said: “I wasn’t particularly great on the pitch but I loved getting people together, building a team, going out to win.

“People want a strong leader. They want someone who listens, debates, decides and then leads from the front.

“I often look at great sportsmen and women and if you saw what happened in the Olympics, all of those gold medal winners always thanked the team. They said it wasn’t just them.

“That’s as true in politics as it is in sport. You need a team player who is able to point their side in the right direction and take everyone with them.

“I think I’m a sure bet because I’m the candidate who is going to change the party so we can win to change the country.”

Ms Kendall, 44, says Labour must wake up to the “catastrophic” scale of its election defeat before it accepts the scale of the changes needed to win again.


Liz Kendall talks to David Wooding

She said: “We need profound change, to put it mildly. A change of face and a bit of tweaking won’t be enough to win back voters who left us for Ukip, the SNP and Tories.

“So we need to turn the page and have a fresh start – and I’m the only person who can do that.”

Fitness fanatic Ms Kendall, who does four 45-minute runs a week, believes her boundless energy and modern thinking will overcome her lack of experience at top level.

“It’s not about the jobs you’ve done in the past,” she said. “It’s about understanding how our country has changed and what people want to get a better life for themselves and their families.

“The painful truth is people didn’t trust us on the economy or with their taxes and we didn’t have a positive vision for a better life that everyone could feel part of.

“It’s their money, not ours. They are busting a gut every week to earn a living and it’s their hard-earned taxes we are spending. So we have got to be more careful with their money and get the best out of every penny we spend.

“We shouldn’t be spending more on servicing our debt than on educating our children. We should be investing in things that really matter for people

“It helps to be a new face but we also have to have a new argument.”

She blasts Ed Miliband’s failed election campaign for being too narrow in its appeal.

He talked a lot about “one nation” but then failed to follow it through by focussing on a single social group.

Ms Kendal said: “I care passionately about people who are struggling but we have got to have a vision of a better life for everybody.

“If you weren’t on a zero-hours contract or the minimum wage or if you own your own home, we didn’t have anything to say. We want to be a government for the whole country and that means having a much broader message to people.”

Ms Kendall’s parents typify the sort of aspirational voters she believes her party needs to win back. Her mum was a primary school teacher while her dad, who left school at 16, studied for finance exams while working at the Bank of England.

Turning on her opponents, she added: “We need big, big changes and I’m the only candidate offering that.

“We don’t want ten more years of opposition. We want five years to set out a better vision and win in 2020.”

Dark-haired Ms Kendall, a svelte size eight, admits her personal life has been a little chaotic since she became MP for Leicester West in 2010.

Her current crisis is the “random splodge” on the white jacket she is wearing for our interview.

“It probably happened on the bus,” she said before asking an aide to dash to collect a pink M&S replacement from her flat.

“I showed my mum the jacket and she just went ‘Tut, tut. It will never last.’

“She was right. It’ll teach me never to wear white again. Other things I have to think about is not having any milk in the fridge . I’ve also run out of toothpaste.

“But like most people I know what comes in and out of my bank account. I know what I pay for and what it costs for what I buy. But I am not going to pretend I buy things that I don’t. People lead different lives.”

Ms Kendall recently ended an eight-year relationship with comedian and Inbetweeners star Greg Davies.

She is coy about discussing the break-up, adding: “He’s still a good friend and he makes me laugh. I thought the Inbetweeners was hysterical, properly funny and tapped into.”

Would she stand more chance of winning if she had a family?

“I’ve got a family,” she retorts. “Families come in lots of different shapes and sizes and I spend a lot of time – not as much as I’d like – with my nieces.

“They’re aged five and eight and they love Irish dancing and put in so much effort and energy. I danced a lot when I was younger. I love it and know how much you have to work at it.

“I went to see them in a concert. They did a funky 80s neon legwarmer version and they were out there, giving it their all, confident, in front of all these people and I felt very proud.”

The shadow care minister also has a wide circle of friends outside the Westminster “bubble”, which helps her to keep a foot in the real world.

“I try and stay as normal as possible,” she says. “If I don’t, my friends will tell me where to get off. Most of them aren’t involved in politics. They do lots of other things and that helps me.

“But I am also proud that I’m in politics because it is about changing people’s lives.

“That’s why I’ve thrown my hat in the ring. Because I love my party, I love my country. I think the Tories are letting the country down. But Labour is, too.

“And we’ve got to change if we are going to convince people to trust us to govern again.”


Toddlers would get an early-step on the learning ladder if Liz Kendall becomes PM.

She wants pre-school education to be given equal status to primary and secondary schools.

Ms Kendall said: “My parents taught me education was my ticket to better life but sadly the labour party has stopped talking about education and forgotten what it’s for.

“We’ve got to start really young.  Kids in my constituency start school 15 months behind where they should be in their development and then play catch up for the rest of their lives. That’s my big thing on education. Start young.”


THE world of work has changed dramatically, she says, and so must Labour’s attitude to jobs.

“We’ve got to be a high-skill, high-wage economy in every part of the country,” she added. “We need a modern industrial strategy right across the country.

“The world is changing, work is changing and we’ve got to change and so have the unions. Women are working full time, part time, in all different sorts of sectors.”

Only 14 per cent of private sector workers now belong to a union and 15 per cent of Britain’s workforce is self-employed.

Ms Kendall said: “We’re Labour, the party of work, but we can be pro-business and pro-worker.

“Great companies know they do better if their employees have good skills. And good union leaders know that if businesses make profits, thrive, grow and expand, their members will do better, too.”


LIZ Kendall was first of the leadership candidates to say she was in favour of an in-out referendum.

She said: “It was a mistake not to have done so before the election. Europe has got to change.

“We have to have the courage of our convictions, go out and make the case.  I am very strong on Britain staying part of Europe because I believe it is vital for jobs and investment.”


SPICE Girl Geri Halliwell went to the same school as Ms Kendal – in the year below.

She remembers her well and spotted her as a rising star at a talent contest at Watford Grammar School, Herts.

Ms Kendal said: “I remember thinking, God, she is giving it her all.

“She was making the very best she could and was full of guts, passion and energy.”

She added: “I didn’t know her really well. But I couldn’t help but notice her. I remember spotting her for the first time and thinking ‘Wow!’”


LIZ Kendall never pulls her punches – and socked it to a phantom fridge raider who swiped her packed lunch.

She was stunned to find her tuna sandwich missing when she went to pick it up one day soon after landing her frontbench job.

So she left a hand-written note on the communal fridge door in a Commons corridor.

It said: “Someone has stolen my lunch from this fridge. I do not appreciate this and warn other people don’t leave anything in her unless you’re happy for it to go missing.”

But next day, a riposte appeared on a bright yellow sticky note: “I took it…AND I’D DO IT AGAIN.”

Later, a third message was added, reading: “YOU ARE A VERY SICK INDIVIDUAL.”

Ms Kendal said: “I bought a sandwich and a salad at a supermarket and put the bag containing them in the fridge.

“They only took one thing out so it wasn’t as if they nicked the whole bag. So I wrote a note warning other MPs on this corridor. Then someone wrote another little note saying they’d do it again, so it was quite funny. But I didn’t write the third note.”

My general election playlist


POLITICIANS of all shades are busy drawing up their playlists of music to stir them up for the final hours of election day campaigning.

Often they make the mistake of picking popular tunes with a title or lyric that matches their beliefs – such as Revolution by The Beatles or David Bowie’s Changes.

So I’ve drawn up a playlist of REAL music that will definitely “pump you up”, as David Cameron might say. Or “hell, yes,” if your name is Ed. And each piece I have chosen has a political twist.

First up is Glinka’s popular overture Russlan and Ludmilla – the lively opening of which was used by the Liberal Democrats in a party election broadcast during Paddy Ashdown’s leadership.

Next comes the stirring slow theme from the last movement of Brahms’s first symphony. This was borrowed by Labour to fire up Neil Kinnock’s campaign in the 1980s. Sadly for him, it didn’t strike a chord with the voters. And worse, he had it playing on his in-car hi-fi when he was involved in a crash.

We follow that with a double delight from two of England’s greatest composers. Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the orchestra, which uses a theme by Henry Purcell. Michael Howard adopted this as his election tune when he took on the might of Tony Blair, but it didn’t do the trick for him. Bit of a theme developing here, I fear. But all still good stirring music, so don’t give up.

Never have politicians interfered in the genius of composers more than in Soviet Russia. It is a miracle that Shostakovich managed to produce such brilliant works while being persecuted by Stalin. The Gadfly is marvellous collection of shorter pieces written as film music and will really get you in the mood – whether you’re a hard-line Red or, like the maestro, an opponent.

Perhaps the most powerful political work of all is Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio. It is about freedom. The opera tells how Leonora, disguised as a prison guard named “Fidelio“, rescues her husband Florestan from death in a political prison. Beethoven wrote four overtures to this masterpiece. My favourite is Leonora No 3.

North of the border, Scottish voters may enjoy a little bit of nationalist music before they decide…and there’s none better than the overture Land of Mountain and Flood by Hamish MacCunn.

Over to Wales, I’ve opted for the land of song’s well-known composer Ivor Novello, who’s real name was David Davies! He ventured from popular music to write a lovely serious piece called…Rose of England.

Finally, there was no greater socialist on the British music scene than Ralph Vaughan Williams, who showed today’s politicians of the same colour a thing or two by turning down a knighthood. Thank you for your wonderful music plain old Mr Vaughan Williams. Here’s part of his quintessentially English sixth symphony.

Have a good campaign, whoever you support. Use these wonderful sounds to stir your passions but please keep politics out of our music!

Ed will be held hostage with a £18.4bn SNP ransom, warns Osborne

DAVID WOODING joins Chancellor GEORGE OSBORNE on the campaign trail.
NICOLA Sturgeon would hit working families with a £1,063 tax bill as the price for propping up a Labour government, George Osborne warned yesterday.
He claimed the SNP leader would force Ed Miliband to raid the nation’s pay packets to meet nine hidden spending pledges in her party’s manifesto.
The Chancellor says the new £18.4billion “ransom note” would hurt real people – and trigger a mass exodus of job creators.
Mr Osborne declared: “This is a really stark situation and we are only five days away from it.
“Ed Miliband is not strong enough to win the election outright so we face a toxic combination of a weak Labour PM being held hostage by Scottish Nationalists, night after night, budget clause after budget clause.
“The SNP have only two objectives – one is to get maximum resources for Scotland and the other is to make the government look shambolic to further their cause of independence.
“They have already said they would borrow £148billion to meet their promises and now we’ve found nine more unfunded commitments they would write into Ed Miliband’s Budget.
“We’re talking serious money here. It would add £1,063 a year to the average working family’s tax bill.
“If interest rates go up by one per cent because of all this political chaos, that would add £1,000 to the average mortgage repayment.”
In an exclusive interview, Mr Osborne also warned that businesses and investors who base themselves in Britain could flee abroad – putting thousands of Brits out of work.
He said: “All this would be put at risk by Ed Miliband’s high tax, anti-business, anti-growth policies that will destroy investment, cost jobs and drive these companies away.
“If we see the economic chaos of a weak Ed Miliband held hostage by the Scottish Nationalists, then jobs and investment will leave Britain.
“We’re in a fight now for our country’s future now. In just a few days time, we could be plunged into political instability and economic chaos with a weak Ed Miliband, who is clearly not up to the job, propped up by the life support machine of the Scottish Nationalists.
“It would be a disaster for our country.”
Mr Osborne added: “We’ve just done some new work on the SNP’s manifesto, which they have made very clear they will demand as their ransom note.
“It would cost an extra £1,063 a year in taxes for the average working family in this country.”
The SNP has already said it would borrow £148billion – and no more – to meet its election promises. But the nine hidden commitments to boost welfare spending at a cost of £18.4billion would have to be paid for with tax rises.
Nicola Sturgeon yesterday scoffed at Ed Miliband’s refusal to do any deals and vowed to derail his government if he didn’t jump to her tune.
She said: “If he’s not prepared to talk and to compromise then he will not get things through.”
Mr Osborne spoke during a campaign visit to Blackpool North and Cleveleys, a key marginal seat where Tory Paul Maynard is defending a 2,150 majority.
He branded Mr Miliband a “spendaholic” who would crash the economy again and “screw it up” for hard-working Brits.
The Chancellor brandished a copy of the note left in the Treasury in 2010 by departing Labour minister Liam Byrne admitting there was no cash left.
“We know he will end up causing everyone a lot of grief because we’ve been through it all before,” he declared.
“Let’s not end up in the situation where we have to wait for another Labour Treasury minister to write another letting telling us they’ve spend all our money.”
Asked what note HE would be leaving on his desk, he replied: “I’m not thinking about writing letters. I want to be back at work on Friday morning bringing jobs and prosperity to towns like this.
“I don’t want to hand over what we’ve achieved over the last five years though the hard work and sacrifice of the British people and businesses to Ed Balls and Ed Miliband for them to smash it against the wall.
“I am fighting with every last breath we’ve got in the next five days to make sure that doesn’t happen. I want to make sure we build on what we’ve achieved and don’t allow these Labour politicians who screwed it up in the past to screw it up in the future.”
Mr Osborne admitted her burst into laughter at Ed Miliband’s stumbling performance in the BBC election debate last week.
But it wasn’t the sight of him tripping up that amused him, but the labour leader’s insistence the last Labour government didn’t overspend.
The Chancellor said: “I think the entire nation laughed out loud. I thought that was a really telling moment, probably the defining moment of the campaign for me.
“He looked like a rabbit in the headlights, unable to convince the audience that Labour didn’t mess up the public finances.
“”The terrifying thing is not his view about history, but that he’d do it all again.
“It wasn’t just that Ed Miliband physically stumbled off the stage. He metaphorically stumbled. He was unable to answer the basic question of whether we can trust him with our money. That’s the most fundamental question for a Prime Minister.
During the campaign, Mr Osborne has become convinced that voters will put the economy at the forefront of their minds when they vote on Thursday.
He said: “These are not abstract ideas for people who read The Sun on Sunday. It means you don’t get that job, or the job you have is lost and the mortgage bill goes up. Your income is cut, you family’s economic opportunities snatched away.
“We have it within our power to have David Cameron back at work on Friday morning, the economy continuing to grow, jobs being created, free childcare and the tax-free minimum wage implemented into law.
“Is a community like this going to get a look in if the Scottish Nationalists have got the whip hand over Ed Miliband? Of course not. So I am seriously worried about the future if we head down that road as a country.”
Mr Cameron hit back at his Lib Dem deputy Danny Alexander who has accused him of claiming all the credit for tax cuts and economic growth.
He declared: “We did some good work together but ultimately they were my budgets and I had to make the big calls about what was in them.
“The Liberal Democrats are probably desperate in this election and they are shouting and screaming to try and get noticed.
“But, to be honest, people know the contest is between David Cameron and the stability of a majority Conservative government or the chaos of Miliband and the Scottish Nationalists. A vote for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for that chaos.
“If people want David Cameron in Downing Street they have got to vote for David Cameron.”
HE was famously booed at the London’s 2012 Games.
But there’s one fan who’s always pleased to see George Osborne – his new pet pooch Lola.
The cute and fluffy Bison Frise always gives the Chancellor a warm welcome when he arrives at 11 Downing Street, where she has been top dog since December.
Mr Osborne said: “She’s great and is always pleased to see me, which doesn’t always happen to a politican.
“There’s an unquestioning love there which is reciprocated. I didn’t grow up with a dog. We had cats. So it was quite a big step for us but it’s been brilliant.
“It has really advanced all of our lives. Lola leaps on you and starts tying to lick you. She’s fantastic.”
Lola has even brought new meaning to his job of clearing up the mess “Labour left behind”.
He added: “Even when at 6.30 in the morning I’m downstairs in the Downing Street garden with my little black poop bags chasing around after Lola, I’m still thinking she brings joy to our lives.”
Dad-of-two Mr Osborne admits that when it comes to running the household economy, his author wife Frances has an equal say.
“That is a shared endeavour,” he insists. “Frances and I do it together. She’s a brilliant lady in her own right. She writes great books and she has been brilliant.”
To relax they watch boxed sets and recently he’s spent his spare hour off glued to TV hit Poldark and admits to having a soft spot for heroine Demelza.
The Chancellor  admits 11 Downing Street is an “odd place to grow up” for their kids Luke, 13, and Liberty, 11.
He said: “They are pretty level headed and we try to keep it as real as possible for them. They get pocket money  like other children.”
Luke is into vinyl records and uses “every spare penny” to buy old LPs from the 70s and 80s from groups such as Duran Duran.
Liberty loves cooking and has been watching the Masterchef finals and the Great British Bake Off.
Mr Osborne said: “She’s into cooking and I’m her sous chef, the under chef for her and do what she says. I say ‘Yes, chef!’
“I used to do a slow-cook leg of lamb with macaroni. You put the lamb in the oven with some tomatoes and onioins for about four or five hours and they you add the macoroni for the last 20 minutes. It’s really good.
“But look, there is a big difference between turning up on th weekend, spending an hour in the supermarket geting all your individual ingredients and producing suppoer on a Saturday night and what I call reall cooking, which is producing a meal every night for the kids.”
Which kitchen does he prefer to cook in?
“I just have the one,” he said.
CHILLED George Osborne served ice cream at a seaside shop and admitted: “I’m a bit of a vanilla man”.
He was invited to a few scoops from an array of flavours at the New Yorker sundae parlour in Cleveleys, Lancs, but plumped for the plain and traditional.
The Chancellor said: “You may think it’s boring but there’s a lot to be said for a good, old-fashioned, dependable vanilla. I quite like the look of the cherry and the pistachio but you can’t beat a good vanilla.”
Mr Osborne served The Sun on Sunday an extra large cone and declared: “You get better helpings with the  Cone-servatives.”
But being a vanilla-lover is not as boring as it sounds. An ice cream personality test website describes them as colourful, impulsive risk-takers who set high goals and have high expectations of themselves.
GEORGE Osborne has made so many factory visits he’s now got his own high-vis jacket and hard hat.
He’s had to wear flourscent safety gear at least 40 times during the election campaign after stepping out of his Treasury “bunker”.
He admits he dug himself in during a “difficult period” but added: “Then, I realised you can’t behave like that when you’re democratically and accountable politician and you’re taking decisions that affect people’s lives.
“You have got to go out there explain yourself. I found that if you’re stuck in the Treasury, you don’t hear anything new and you don’t engage with people.
“So I got myself out and about and I’ve really enjoyed it. A lot of things we’ve done, a lot of initiatives we’ve pursued like the concept of the Northern Powerhouse, came from these conversations and not thinking all the answers like within the square mile of Whitehall.
“Somebody did give me my very own high-vis jacket and hardhat because I was getting out to so many different workplaces.”
The hi-vis Chancellor has also posed for a string of selfies – including one with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.
Blues fan Mr Osborne for once the person doing the asking when they met for the first time at an event for football-loving MPs.
He’d like to be at Stamford Bridge tomorrow where Chelsea hope to secure their fifth league title.
But he says: “I don’t know whether people would ask what I’m doing but on the other hand we haven’t won the league for five years – and last time we were in the middle of an election, too.
“I was thrilled to meet Jose. We needed the special one back, didn’t we? Let’s hope we can have a double this week with a win for both blue teams.”ENDS

Bojo reveals his “Mafia” code for victory

DAVID WOODING interviews London Mayor Boris Johnson

ED Miliband was branded a back-stabber yesterday by Boris Johnson who vowed never to knife his own MP brother.

The London Mayor launched a blistering attack on the Labour leader over the ruthless way he snatched his party’s crown from his big bruv David’s head.

And he declared: “It’s just not something that we do in our family.”

Tory Boris said he and his rising star brother Jo will stick to a Mafiastyle code of “never, ever” turning on each other.

Mimicking the gruff tones of Vito Corleone in The Godfather, he declared: “It’s the family. We don’t do it like that … never, ever.”

In an exclusive interview, BoJo was scathing over Red Ed’s brutal knifing of his own brother in the 2010 Labour leadership battle.

He said: “He clearly stabbed his own brother in the back. There’s all this pseudo indignation of the Left whenever anyone utters those words.

“But it’s a well-known political metaphor we have been using all our professional lives.

“Nobody is suggesting David Miliband presented himself at A&E with a knife between his ribs. But however you look at it, I don’t think he was too chuffed about what happened.

“I don’t think back-stabber is a metaphor from which David Miliband would wholly dissent. In fact, he might endorse it.”


Orpington MP Jo Johnson, 43, head of the 10 Downing Street policy unit, is tipped as a future Tory leader, like his better-known older brother.

But Boris, 50, insists there is an unwritten family rule which forbids them fighting over the top job.

He said: “Jo is doing brilliantly. The manifesto is fantastic and makes an offer to voters that they can’t refuse.”

Then he quoted Michael Corleone’s words to his own brother in The Godfather.

“What is it he says to Fredo? ‘Fredo, you’re my older brother, and I love you, but don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family again, ever.”

Bojo dismissed Mr Miliband’s “useless” record in government and claimed the Labour chief would be a “lapdog” of the Scottish National Party if he ever became PM. He added: “I don’t think he has the slightest interest in or understanding of the wealth-creating side of our economy.

“You need a strong and healthy public sector with great healthcare, schools and infrastructure but you also need the wealth-creating sector to be vibrantand dynamic and competitive.

“He is an emanation of the public sector. I don’t believe he has ever earned a penny from a free-market enterprise of any kind, from the private sector, from a business. As far as I know, all his income is wholly and exclusively from the state.”

Boris warned Mr Miliband would have to plead “on bended knee” before the SNP to get things done.

He said: “He would be the lapdog of Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond and they would be diverting big sums of investment away from the South East, away from London, away from England.

“By-passes wouldn’t get built, the A358 from Ilminster to Taunton wouldn’t get done. What would happen to Cross Rail Two? What about the hundreds of thousands of homes we need to build?”

Boris recalled how Red Ed missed a chance to create thousands of jobs when in Gordon Brown’s Cabinet.


He said: “I had some dealings with him when he was luxuriating in the post of Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and we had a great plan to save money and create thousands of jobs.

“This is when the crisis had just hit, thousands of businesses were going to the wall and 190,000 people lost their jobs in a few months.

went to Miliband and said, we’ve got a great plan. You can retrofit your home so you can put in lagging and it will create jobs, save money and cut CO2and you finance it out of the future savings on energy bills.

“He wasn’t interested. He didn’t understand it. He didn’t care and I came out of that meeting thinking we’re going to have to do this on our own or with somebody else.

“Luckily, the coalition came in, produced the Green Deal, we’ve done 113,000 homes in London now, retrofitted them and CO2 has come down. So my objection to him is that he is a socialist theoretician who thinks the only problem with socialism is it has never been properly tried.”

David Cameron sees Boris, who is standing in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, as his “secret weapon” in the closest run election in decades.

He joked: “I have been weaponised by the PM. I have never really decommissioned my weapons. The warheads are pretty much on full-time ocean-going alert and are primed and ready to fire at all stages.”

As ew quipped afterwards: “Ed-o, you’re my brother and I love you, but don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family again”.


LABOUR has done more to privatise the NHS than any other party yet it shamelessly peddles scare stories about Tories, Boris claims. He said: “Labour engaged in the biggest transfer of health service money into the private sector. Now we’ve been saddled with huge debts.”

The mayor thinks there is nothing wrong with private firms being used efficiently in hospitals.

He said: “Sometimes it works badly and sometimes it works well. Health care is a huge winner for Britain and we have people who come from around the world to pay through the nose.”


THE Tories will soon have more black and ethnic minority MPs than Labour, he claims.

“Yes, we are still overwhelmingly white and middle class but we are changing fast.

“We are the party that speaks for the whole of this country.”

He blames the last Labour Government for creating an immigration crisis.

“Labour betrayed people by allowing huge numbers of immigrants, legal and in many cases illegal, to come to Britain without any controls. “It was a deliberate act.”


BORIS may be posh but has only one kitchen and is happy to make that clear.

His also owns a single TV set and a battered old car to use when not on his bicycle. He spoke out on the Ed Miliband kitchens row. Boris said: “I don’t give a monkeys about how he eats bacon sarnies. I don’t even care how many kitchens he has.

“I do object to him standing for a party that will stop ordinary people from acquiring their own kitchen and moving forward with their own lives. We’re the party of kitchen construction. He’s the party of kitchen concealment.”


THE London Mayor loves being a dad and jokes his main role is to embarrass his kids.

He often sang the Jimmy Cliff hit “I can see clearly now” at the top of his voice while taking his youngsters to school.

Bojo said: “Why do my children think about having me as a father? I’ve never ever asked that appalling question. On the whole, I think inevitably they find me extremely embarrassing, but that’s the case with all fathers at some stage or another. One of our roles in life is to embarrass our children.”

Mr Johnson adds: “I used to walk them to school singing ‘I can see clearly now’ very loudly until they begged me to shut up.”

The Old Etonian dad-of-four fondly remembers his days at Primrose Hill state primary school in North London – one also attended by another political figure.

He grins: “Don’t forget, I was educated at the same school, I’m proud to say, as the party leader…Ed Miliband.

“It is a great school and I absolutely loved it. You should ask Ed Miliband whether he can remember Mr Nyman and Miss Climbie. I be he can. Mr Nyman was the music teacher.

“Mr Fox was a great teacher, too. I don’t care whether they’re free schools, academies or schools totally under the control of the council, provided they are of high standard and have happy , well-motivated pupils.”


BORIS left his Tory leadership rival Theresa May in the shade when both were asked to draw a self portrait for a collage in a Westminster hotel. Boris produced a huge, signed picture of himself, left, right beside her tiny effort on the same canvas. He says it would be “a wonderful thing” to lead the Tories but warns that first he “has t

He said: “I think, inevitably, they find me extremely embarrassing but that’s the case with all fathers at some stage or another.

“I used to walk them to school singing, ‘I can see clearly now’ very loudly until they begged me to shut up.”

The dad of four fondly recalls his days at Primrose Hill state primary in North London. He grins: “I was educated at the same school, I’m proud to say, as Ed Miliband.

“I don’t care if schools are free, academies or under council control provided they are of high standard and have happy, wellmotivated pupils.”



BORIS loves ITV’s portrayal of him in the new satirical show Newzoids.

In one episode of the computer-generated show, mop-headed Boris storms into 10 Downing Street on a zipwire. He says: “It does look like me, actually. If anything, it’s a bit flattering. It reminds me faintly of Worzel Gummidge but there is something chillingly lifelike about it.”

Mr Johnson insists his “dishevelled” barnet, he says trimmed regularly by a very nice barber at a reasonable price, is not a carefully-coiffured image. He said: “It is what it is.”

My kids take the Mickey out of me…but want the blue team to win

DAVID WOODING interviews the Prime Minister

DAVID Cameron has been taking the rough and tumble of the election campaign in his stride because his biggest critics are at home.

The PM reveals his three kids are always poking fun at him over everything from his casual dress sense to his taste in music and films.

He admits nothing helps him keep his feet on the ground more than when they tell him: “Dad, you’re so embarrassing.”

In a frank interview with The Sun on Sunday, Mr Cameron gives a rare glimpse of life in 10 Downing Street with the children he calls “the light of my life”.

He describes how he has gently explained how they might have to move out of the family home in 17 days’ time if “the blue team” fails to win the General Election. Mr Cameron also reveals how he:

CLASHED with wife Samantha over whether their kids should be allowed to have tattoos.

BLOCKED eldest daughter Nancy’s demands to have her ears pierced.

STAVES off hunger during the gruelling campaign with bags of popcorn and peanuts.

TAKES tips from former PM Sir John Major, who won the 1992 election against the odds.


The PM gently spelled out how May 7 could turn the family’s world upside down in a heart-toheart with Nancy, 11, Elwen, seven, and four-year-old Florence.

He said: “I sat them down a few weeks ago and told them what would be happening and the possible outcomes.

“They like Number 10 and would miss it, and Larry the Downing Street cat who’s become almost like part of the family.

“They know what Daddy is doing. Daddy is fighting an election, running the blue team. “They want the blue team to win. They know what happens if the blue team doesn’t win and they are very supportive. They are wonderful children. They are the light of my life.”

But he added: “They still take the mickey out of me daily, which they enjoy. To them I’m just a normal dad, who they think is a bit square and sometimes embarrassing. It’s very sobering to come home to after a day in the office.

“They rib me about, you know, anything from my CD collection to what I watch on TV.”

Mr Cameron says he is teaching his adored son to play tennis and cricket, in which he’s a good bat.

He admits Nancy, who starts secondary school in September, is already starting to act like a teenager, and wants her ears pierced.

He declared: “I’m in that fight with Nancy at the moment. We’ll probably reach an agreement over what age she can have them done. We’re in negotiations!”

And tattoos? Sam has a leaping dolphin on her right ankle and would be “fine” if her kids have body art, but her husband says they’d have to clear it with him.

He said: “I’m not a big fan. I love Samantha’s tattoo, it’s very small, very discreet. But I’d be a square dad and tell the children to think very carefully about it.” Nancy, he says, is also developing a wicked sense of humour and has made up her own jokes about Ed Miliband’s two kitchens.

He said: “She was punching the air over the kitchen jokes. She thought that was all very funny. She also loved that video of Nick Clegg set to the song I’m Sorry.”

The PM opened his heart on the Conservative battle bus on which, in between speeches, he ploughs through his ministerial red box and takes phone calls.

He revealed he’s in touch with former PM Mr Major who bounced back to win the 1992 election after being written off by pollsters.

“He is very wise and has given me some very good advice,” said the PM. “He has been incredibly supportive and I think he’s someone who it’s good to listen to.”

Mr Cameron admits to having a sneaky chuckle when he read The Sun on Sunday’s scoop about Ed Miliband leaving his notes behind — calling himself the “happy warrior” — after the TV debates.

He said: “I had notes with a few facts and figures I wanted to remember, but no happy warrior.”

Mr Cameron insists the hard, 17-day slog ahead is all about the hopes and dreams of the nation.

He says: “It’s frustrating people keep saying they don’t hear any vision from us. But there’s no bigger vision than saying to people, let’s build a country where, if you work hard, there’s a job for you, there’s an apprenticeship, a university place, a home that we can build that you can buy and own.

“There’s a family you can raise who can have a good place, there’s a good school for your child and there’s a retirement you can enjoy.

“To me that is the vision. That’s the dream most people in our country have of what they’d like to achieve. A country which, if you do the right thing, rewards you.”


DAVID Cameron reveals son Elwen laughs at his love of old westerns starring legends like John Wayne, left.

He says: “He can’t see the point. He thinks if you can watch action films like Fast & Furious why would you watch The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, or Shane? “I hope to persuade him to try to watch spaghetti westerns one day, but he’s proving harder to convert than any die-hard voter at the moment.”

He says his kids also laugh at his music tastes, which include Radiohead, The Smiths and Pink Floyd, who wrote Dark Side of the Moon, right.

He added: “It’s a generational gap, I suppose. I get jibes such as, ‘Why do you like that rubbish music?'”


THE PM admits his blood boils when fat cat “experts” attack his bid to widen home ownership.

He blasted Lib Dems who have blocked his right-to-buy scheme and added: “We’re mad to have council houses worth a million pounds.

“If you sell one of those off when it becomes empty you could build another ten homes.”

He said: “These so-called experts who are criticising us are all people who have bought houses themselves, often very nice houses, on large salaries.

“It does make my blood boil because I think, hold on, why is it all right for you but it’s not all right for a person living in a housing association home who doesn’t have that right?”


Johnson, below, is a vital part of the election team — and is on the phone to the PM daily.

Mr Cameron said: “He’s fighting very hard. He’s out and about campaigning and I’m doing something with him next week. He’s a vital part of the teamand I’m very excited about him coming back into Parliament. He has a big role to play.”

Aston Villa fan Mr Cameron, who hopes to find time to watch at least part of their FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool today, likened BoJo to their top striker.

He said: “I have made the football analogy before but it’s like having another Benteke on the pitch.”


DEFENCE spending is locked in for ten years, with £160billion of aircraft carriers, frigates, subs and jets and other kit “guaranteed”.

Mr Cameron scoffed at Ukip leader Nigel Farage’s claim to lead the only party committed to our Armed Forces. He said: “Everybody knows that if you vote Ukip you get Ed Miliband and you get a weak defence.”

He said Britain would spend two per cent of national wealth on defence this year and next, despite his refusal to set the figure in stone.

He said: “We can’t make that pledge until the autumn when we look at spending on all departments.

“But £160billion over ten years has been guaranteed for defence and increased each year for inflation.”

Nancy’s been making jokes about Ed Miliband’s kitchens They’d miss No 10.. and Larry the Downing St cat