Tories launch urban design taskforce headed up by man who drove urban renewal in the 1980s.

The Tory Party is to take a fresh look at Urban Design under a cities task force to be launched today by Michael Heseltine.

Lord Heseltine will unveil the group today with the party's leader, David Cameron, in Liverpool.

He will announce plans for affordable housing for first-time buyers in urban areas, as well as proposals to improve education in inner cities.

Cameron will say that the aim is to make the Tories the "positive, optimistic voice of urban Britain".

He will say: "For too long, Conservatives have been seen as the party of the leafy suburbs. That's changing… I now want to step up the pace with a new policy focus on our cities."

Heseltine visited Liverpool after inner city riots in early 1981 and during his time in government earned the nickname "Mr Merseyside" for his efforts on urban deprivation and regeneration.