Conservative Party Conference Live: George Osborne announces dramatic transfer of power to councils

George Osborne will address the conference in his speech later today

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The Conservative Party conference kicked off on Monday with George Osborne announcing a dramatic shake-up to business rates in local government.

The Chancellor said local councils would be allowed to keep rates totalling £26 billion, abolishing measure that had seen councils pay their rates to Whitehall.  

He also defended his choice to appoint Lord Adonis to run the National Infrastructure Commission.

"I think he's a really good person to do this job and I think it shows general confidence that the country is heading in the right direction," Mr Osborne said earlier on Monday.

Meanwhile, Michael Gove has attacked “comfortable millionaires” such as Charlotte Church and Russell Brand claiming they have no understanding of the people they represent.

Ms Church was present at na anti-austerity rally outside of the Conservative conference, but distanced herself after demonstrators spat at Conservative activists, MPs and journalists as they entered the conference.

Following on from Mr Osborne, culture secretary John Whittingdale is also due to speak.

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