George Osborne pledges to shake Britain out of inertia

Conservative Party Autumn Conference 2015 - Day 1

George Osborne is promising to "shake Britain out of its inertia" by appointing a former Labour Cabinet minister to plan major building projects.

The Chancellor will explain why he has chosen Lord Adonis to run the National Infrastructure Commission when he speaks this afternoon at the second day of the Conservative conference.

Lord Adonis will lead the project to build more roads, railways, airports, power stations and homes for Britain.

As the conference opened on Sunday, David Cameron refused to back down on tax credit cuts, despite around 60,000 protesters holding in an anti-austerity rally outside.

"We are moving to an economy where you get paid more and where you pay less in tax, rather than paying more in tax and getting the money back in tax credits. That is a better system," the Prime Minister told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is expected to address a protest against cuts near the venue in Manchester today.

There were four arrests on Sunday after people arriving at the event were spat on, abused and one conference-goer was hit by an egg by demonstrators.

Mr Corbyn, who will speak at a public meeting organised by the Communication Workers' Union, condemned the incidents and appealed for people to "focus on policy and take no part in personal attacks".

Green leader Natalie Bennett and singer turned activist Charlotte Church are also expected at today's event in Manchester Cathedral.

Church attended the march on Sunday holding a banner saying: "A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth, Albert Einstein."

Mr Osborne will say in his conference speech today that he plans to take the politics out of major infrastructure decisions and get Britain moving.

"Where would Britain be if we had never built railways or runways, power stations or new homes? Where will we be in the future if we stop building them now?" he will say.

"I'm not prepared to turn round to my children - or indeed anyone else's child - and say 'I'm sorry, we didn't build for you'.

"We have to shake Britain out of its inertia on the projects which matter most."

Lord Adonis, who served as transport secretary under Gordon Brown, will quit the Labour whip and sit as a crossbencher in the House of Lords.

The peer, who was a Social Democrat councillor and Liberal Democrat election candidate before joining Labour, said: "Without big improvements to its transport and energy systems, Britain will grind to a halt.

"Major infrastructure projects like Crossrail and building major new power stations span governments and parliaments.

"I hope it will be possible to forge a wide measure of agreement across society and politics on key infrastructure requirements for the next 20 to 30 years and the assessments which have underpinned them."

The body will start by focusing on plans to improve links between Northern cities and a large-scale investment in London's transport network, as well as providing a new power storage, interconnection and demand management system.

The Chancellor also plans to sweep away rules preventing the development of brownfield sites, to increase the supply of homes for sale.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid, Culture Secretary John Whittingdale, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughin and Energy Secretary Amber Rudd will speak at the conference today.

On Sunday Mr Cameron also announced plans for to give patients access to GP services seven days a week by 2020, and extend seven-day hospital services across the whole of England by then.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said the UK needs to carry out airstrikes on the Islamic State group in Syria to keep Britain's streets safe.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan insisted she is not a pushover shortly after revealing her plans to stand in the election to succeed Mr Cameron as Tory leader.