London is filthy, expensive and in crisis, according to a Conservative Party research document.

Design expert Stephen Bayley told the Tory Quality of Life policy group that the capital was in a "frightful mess".

Mr Bayley painted a grim picture of life in Britain with the fabric of cities in a poor state, giving an impression of neglect and mis-management.

His views and recommendations are being submitted to the Conservatives for further investigation.

Mr Bayley yesterday today took part in an open top bus tour of London with shadow secretary of state for Local Government and Meriden MP Caroline Spelman.

Mr Bayley's recommendations to the Conservatives are:

* Streets matter: great urban design gets the city into a virtuous circle of social and economic improvement;

* Present conditions insult residents and deter investors;

* Public amenity is threatened by unaccountable authorities, whether utility companies or chainstores;

*Public contractors must be accountable and incentivised or penalised;

Beauty and convenience have real value and must be accounted for.

Mrs Spelman urged urban planners to make it more attractive for people to live closer into the city centre and work from home using new technology.

This would slow down the long commute to the suburbs by car or on overcrowded trains and tubes.