The Conservatives are best placed to carry on Tony Blair’s public service reforms, the shadow chancellor says. George Osborne claimed Gordon Brown, the next prime minister, had “abandoned the centre ground of public service reform to the Conservative Party”. The Tories would therefore have “a great opportunity to improve life for the many, not the few”, he added. Mr Blair has called for personalised services which allow people to choose schools and hospitals. Mr Osborne commented that Mr Blair’s ideas on choice were right, but said he had been wrong to impose them from Whitehall. He said: “I’m saying work with the public service professionals, work with teachers, work with doctors to give them much greater power over their local services and to give the users of these services… the choice that is the driver of improvement in every other walk of life and can be the driver of improvement in public services. In healthcare, budgets should be devolved to GPs and patients, rather than “large bureaucracies like primary care trusts”, he said.