Conservative favourite and London mayor Boris Johnson has delivered an upbeat speech to the Tory faithful at the party's conference in Birmingham.
With swipes at Ukip defectors, Ed Miliband and Vince Cable, the speech was well-received in a conference hall nervous about the prospects of electoral success and party unity.
Johnson ran through a list of his achievements during his time in office including a fall in crime, Crossrail and new extensions to the Tube network. He praised commitments to build more affordable homes and claimed there was enough space in London to build 400,000 more homes without touching the greenbelt.
The mayor launched a broadside against EU regulation and stuck to the party line, saying only David Cameron could deliver a referendum on Europe. There was nothing new in Johnson's speech, but plenty of jokes to cheer up the Tory faithful.
Here are some of the lines that went down best with the conference hall:
The mayor mocked the Labour leader's failure to remember the deficit during his conference speech last week:
You saw the final explosion of the myth that Labour is doomed to succeed.
The Labour leader gave a surreal speech in which he described how he had tried to find material by randomly accosting young people in London parks, desperately hoping for inspiration.
The baggage handlers in his memory went on strike and refused to load the word deficit on to the conveyor belt of his tongue.
Toward the end of his speech he urged fellow Tories to ensure they take the fight to the "unrepentant, unreconstructed, silly semi-Marxist Miliband and Balls".
Boris told the audience how pleased he was that London was still the capital city of the UK and said the delegates had "permission to purr", which elicited a painstakingly awkward smile from David Cameron.
The mayor said he was supportive of foreign investment, but he wanted new homes to be sold to Londoners not "oligarchs from planet Zog". However, he was quick to add "I'm not Zogist".
Tories vs. kippers
Boris didn't hold back the barbs for Ukip, who did so much to overshadow the start of the Conservative party conference.
"Are there any quitters or splitters? Anyone feeling a bit yellow around the edges - like a kipper?" Johnson asked.
Quoting William Shakespeare, the mayor said, "he who hath has no spirit for this fight, let him depart".
Referring to the two upcoming by-elections, which will see Ukip and the Tories go head-to head, Johnson told the hall to "fight them on the beaches of Clacton and defeat them on the beaches of Rochester and Strood".
Furthermore, he outlined a novel new fisheries policy "first chuck Salmond overboard, then eat the kippers for breakfast".
Here at City AM, we are great believers in tradition, particularly when it comes to our elected leaders, who seem to indulge in the level of historical customs and practices normally reserved for those attending Hogwarts.
UK house price growth slowed to 9.4 per cent in the year to September, figures published this morning showed, down 11 per cent from last month.
Between August and September, monthly growth fell 0.2 per cent - the first drop in 17 months, the figures from Nationwide showed.
As the building society's chief economist, Robert Gardner, pointed out, regional prices showed a lot of variation.
Despite its growth slowing faster than the national average, London was still looking at a 21 per cent rise in the last year:
Annual house price growth in London slowed somewhat, from 25.8 per cent in Q2 to 21 per cent in Q3. Nevertheless, at £401,072, average prices in the capital reached a record high, 31 per cent above their 2007 peak. In the UK as whole, prices [were] around 2 per cent above their pre-crisis peak (excluding London they are less than 1 per cent above their 2007 peak).
As we can see, there have been differing fortunes between different regions while all suffered in the wake of the financial crisis.
London's recovery has been much faster than other regions and has reached far greater heights. However, in the third quarter of 2014, the most robust growth was elsewhere:
While it seems likely buyer demand is dampening somewhat as talk of a rise in interest rates becomes more fervent, long-term trends are still strong.
While September saw a slowing in house price growth, the picture on a quarterly basis (July, August and September combined) was still relatively strong, with all 13 UK regions recording annual price gains.
Like Halifax, Nationwide uses its own mortgage lending data to build the index. As such, it isn't as eclectic a source as the Land Registry, which draws on a wider range of data. Still, as Nationwide operates nationally, the data is a useful window into the market.
Here are how the Land Registry, Halifax, and Nationwide's indices compare:
Desktop users can scroll down to see an interactive graph comparing all regions. The dropdown menu in the top right allows for the removal of certain regions for better comparisons.
Ebay shares jumped 11 per cent in pre-market trading as it confirmed plans to spin off its online payment company Paypal into a separately listed company sometime in the second half of next year.
The auction site said following a strategic review, its board had decided separating the two companies will position them "to capitalise on their respective growth opportunities in the rapidly changing global commerce and payments landscape", creating sustainable value for shareholders.
Devin Wenig, currently president of Ebay's Marketplaces arm, will become chief executive of the new, slimmed-down Ebay, while Dan Schulman, currently group president of enterprise growth at American Express, will lead the spun-off Paypal.
The company said keeping Ebay and Paypal together after 2015 "clearly becomes less advantageous to each business strategically and competitively".
The industry landscape is changing, and each business faces different competitive opportunities and challenges.
John Donahoe, Ebay's president and chief executive, added that the two will "enjoy added flexibility to pursue new market and partnership opportunities".
We are confident following a thorough assessment of the relationships between eBay and PayPal that operating agreements can maintain synergies going forward. Our board and management team believe that putting eBay and PayPal on independent paths in 2015 is best for each business and will create additional value for our shareholders.
The move is a change of attitude for Donahoe, who has previously resisted calls from activist investor Carl Icahn to separate the two companies.
But the company has experienced a difficult few months. In May, it was revealed hackers had gained access to one of its databases containing encrypted passwords, forcing 145 million users to change their passwords.
In July it posted revenues up 13 per cent to $4.4bn, below expectations. The company said it had been a "challenging quarter".
The rapidly rising cost of Premier League live broadcast rights means UK fans pay the highest prices in Europe to watch football on TV.Virgin Media has asked Ofcom to investigate how the rights are sold ahead of the next auction.
The complaint is currently in an eight week "assessment phase" with Ofcom, with Virgin Media expecting a response in late October/early November.
An Ofcom spokesperson said:
Ofcom can confirm that Virgin Media has submitted a competition complaint about the Premier League. We are considering the complaint, before deciding whether any further action is required.
Uber has launched its UberTaxi service in Berlin and Hamburg after a series of struggles with German courts.
UberTaxi, which operates in London and New York, allows users to hail a licensed cab. Furthermore, Uber will be changing its UberBlack service to comply with Berlin regulations.
The prices are, usually, lower than those of traditional cabs and give taxi drivers additional business when they would otherwise have been on standby.
The San Francisco-based company has been at constant loggerheads with regulators and the German taxi industry, with courts in Berlin and Hamburg upholding bans on the UberBlack and UberPop on Friday.
Uber's Germany spokesman Fabian Nestmann, commented:
Uber is committed to increasing the choice for consumers and drivers and helping them make personal mobility more efficient. Opening our platform for taxis in Germany with UberTaxi, our on demand service, is another step towards that goal
Uber's decision to adjust its service to meet Berlin's regulatory requirements comes shortly after the company's vice president for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Africa Niall Wass softened the firm's tone on regulation.
Wass indicated Uber was ready for a more open dialogue with lawmakers:
We're open for that debate, if they come to us and say we like what you're doing, but here are our concerns for a particular market.
Yesterday, Nestmann echoed Wass's remarks:
As a matter of course we respect the German legal system and work to adapt our services to comply with the regulatory framework.
We remain convinced, however, that there should be an open dialogue on how the current provisions of the German Transportation Act and how it can be adapted to embrace the technical possibilities of the 21st century.
Uber has not given up the fight in Berlin and is appealing the Berlin court ruling. Last week, UberPop launched in Madrid much to the chagrin of Spanish taxi industry.
The ride-sharing company will certainly be hoping to have a smoother ride expanding in Spain than it has had in Germany.
There seems to be a detachment from ordinary people’s lives in the Westminster Village. The parties just don’t seem to relate and talk the language of normal people.