29 September 2014
Chancellor George Osborne aims to put Labour on the spot with twin pack announcement on benefits and tax.
David Cameron is to tell the Conservative Party conference there will be more money to ensure seven-day GP access is rolled out across England by 2020.
24 September 2014
A government source says the public should not "expect fireworks" as the UK prepares to join the US and other nations in air strikes against Islamic State.
Boris Johnson exits the stage after a conference-pleasing speech, bringing this morning's session to a close. Delegates will break for lunch until 14:30 BST, returning for speeches from the health and education secretaries.
Boris Johnson calls on Conservatives to "unite" and "take the fight to the unrepentant unreconstructed, semi-Marxist Miliband and Balls". He says activists should be "proud" of what the Conservatives have achieved and insists the party can "win big" in 2015. "Let us Conservatives get on with our work of unleashing the talents of the people of this country and the most dynamic economy in Europe."
David Cameron is among the first party members to stand and applaud Boris Johnson.
A lot of bus stops in Las Vegas are made in London, apparently. More specifically, in the London Borough of Hillingdon - which is in the Uxbridge constituency that Boris Johnson is hoping to represent in Parliament.
Boris Johnson says the UK is a leader in tech industries and manufacturing - telling the hall we are on the verge of becoming the second biggest car manufacturer in Europe, which is "astounding".
Another joke from Boris Johnson, on fisheries policy: "Chuck Salmond overboard and then eat the kippers for breakfast." He pledges the Conservatives will take the fight to UKIP in the upcoming by-elections prompted by two Conservative MPs' defections.
On to the EU now, and Boris Johnson says the only man in Europe who can achieve the change the UK needs is David Cameron - cue cheers and applause from the audience. He has the natural authority and the leadership to lead the UK into 2015 and beyond, he adds.
tweets: Now Boris gentle dig at Theresa May opposition to his water cannon purchase. Can't help himself.
The London mayor says more than 408 firms in the capital now pay the living wage. He stresses this has not been achieved by compulsion but by showing them it is the right thing to do. That is Conservative approach, Boris Johnson adds.
tweets: Tory Mayor self describes as 'a mere municipal toenail' - the Mayoralty should + could be used to transform lives in #London. #Time4Change
tweets: Bojo best line of Tory Conference - London capital of England, Britain and UK "You have permission to purr". Cameron smiles weakly..
tweets: Boris Johnson looks to brick and says "brick, you will not be alone" telling us Tories will build more homes #CPC14
We'll be needing more of these to address the housing challenge, Boris Johnson declares. (Here's the brick again.)
Boris Johnson attacks the Labour Party's policies on housing - including proposals for a mansion tax. He says it is only the Conservatives who will build more homes and help more first-time buyers to get on the housing ladder. The brick is out again.
tweets: Blimey, we're resorting to props now
Boris Johnson is now brandishing a brick - it's not entirely clear yet. Ah, he was given it in a factory in Newcastle yesterday, and praises the business which he says is "now capable of making 80 million" of them a year.
Boris Johnson says London remains not just the capital of England, but "thanks to the wisdom of a clear majority of Scots" it is the capital of Britain and the UK, and will remain soon "for our lifetimes". "You have permission to purr conference," he quips - a reference to David Cameron's comments about the Queen "purring" when she heard Scottish voters had rejected independence.
tweets: It's a bit unfair to criticise Boris for not being more like Theresa May. Tories fortunate to have different but effective performers.
The London mayor is now talking about the capital, telling the hall that crime is down - and pays tribute to the Metropolitan Police who are "doing an absolutely fantastic job". He praises improvements in transport infrastructure - citing Crossrail and the "first extension of the tube in 25 years" next year as examples.
tweets: Boris: "I'm just a mere municipal toenail"
Boris Johnson says the baggage handlers of Ed Miliband's memory went on strike during his speech last week, in which he forgot to mention the deficit.
tweets: Standing room only for Boris #cpc14
Boris Johnson is tearing in to Ed Miliband's speech, mocking the Labour leader for forgetting to mention the deficit. This is a crowd pleaser - they do love Boris.
Boris Johnson says victory is in the Conservatives' grasp - and that last week's Labour conference put an end to the myth that Ed Miliband is "doomed" for victory.
Boris Johnson starts by checking that the audience are "proud Conservatives?". Cue loud cheers of "Yes". Are there any defectors, quitters, or splitters? "No!" the hall responds.
The Conservative mayor of London Boris Johnson is addressing party activists - with David Cameron in the audience to hear his speech.
Theresa May warns that the UK "must not sleep walk into separation, segregation and sectarianism". She says people must respect British institutions and values, including the rule of law, democracy, equality and diversity. "These are our values, and there is no place for extremism here," she adds.
A Conservative activist peruses an article on UKIP.
tweets: Not one for some liberals, but Home Secretary Theresa May delivered the most serious and challenging speech of the conference season so far.
The home secretary pledges that banning orders and extremism disruption orders will feature in the Conservatives' 2015 election manifesto, as well as a new counter-extremism strategy that goes "beyond terrorism". The aim is to "undermine and eliminate extremism in all its forms" - not just Islamist extremism, she adds.
tweets: I swear, this Tory Conference is like an extended advert for what the LibDems have done in government. So many Tory plans blocked.
tweets: So far May is making stunningly good, humane and sophisticated speech. We cannot remake the world in our own democratic image #cpc14
Theresa May lists the steps the government is taking to prevent radicalisation of Muslims in Britain - including in universities and prisons, and online.
Theresa May stresses that it is also vital to "defeat the ideology" behind the terrorist threat, which "has nothing to do with Islam itself". She says Islam is a religion of peace, so "let us stand side by side with the British Muslims who are coming together and saying 'Not in my name'". Another strong round of applause from party activists.
tweets: That sound is Boris Johnson dumping vacuum cleaners and rewriting his speech, a Clown Prince worried he'll sound daft after Theresa May
Theresa May promises greater powers for police to access internet communications data, under a future Conservative government. She says such powers have been vital in tackling terrorism and organised crime. In an attack on the Lib Dems, Mrs May says it was "outrageous" for the party to oppose tougher surveillance laws. The Conservatives would ensure there are the sufficient legal powers and technical capabilities to protect the public.
tweets: Theresa May quotes from Koran, takes on radical Islam and IS, "a hateful ideology which has nothing to do with Islam itself". Big speech
Here are some silhouetted activists queuing to get into the conference.
tweets: Theresa May says @LibDems opposition to "snoopers charter" is "outrageously irresponsible" #cpc14
tweets: Boos in the hall for the Lib Dems when Theresa May says party vetoed Comms Data Bill. But next Tory govt will introduce it #cpc14
tweets: May says UK can work with European partners to crack down in jihadis. Take that, Nigel Farage #cpc14
Theresa May says a Counter-Terrorism Bill will be introduced to Parliament in November which will allow the police to seize passports at the border to prevent travel and investigate suspects. She say 103 people have been arrested for terrorism offences in Syria, with 24 of those charged and five prosecuted. A new criminal offence of preparing and training for terrorism overseas will also be introduced, under government plans.
tweets: Steely, clever, serious stuff from Theresa May on big challenges of our time. Difficult for Boris to follow this with a comic turn #cpc14
The home secretary says British nationals with dual nationality who go abroad to fight in jihadist wars can have their passports revoked. She says she also has powers to keep naturalised citizens out of the country. But Mrs May stresses that under international law no country can make its citizens stateless, so young Britons have to be discouraged from travelling to Syria and Iraq in the first place. She says she is working with other EU countries to disrupt and prevent travel to the region. She says she has removed passports from 25 people who planned to travel to Syria and pledges, to applause: "I will go on using that power."
tweets: May:"We must not flinch. We must not shy away from our responsibility. We must act to destroy ISIL"
Theresa May says it is right the UK has joined the international coalition against IS militants, warning that if the situation is left alone "we will see the world's first truly terrorist state" in Syria and Iraq. IS could acquire chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, she warns. "This is not somebody' else's battle," she adds, and insists the UK must act to "destroy" IS.
tweets: Formidable start to Theresa May #CPC14 speech - assault on use of stop + search after being introduced by univ student Alexander Paul
Theresa May cites the beheadings of hostages by Islamic State militants. Addressing the organisation's name she says it is "not Islamic" and "not a state". She says IS is causing "death and destruction" in the Middle East region, and has also made clear its desire to attack Britain, America and the West.
tweets: Will be on @daily_politics with @afneil following the great @MayorofLondon London speech #CPC14
The home secretary tells the hall that crime is down by 22% under this government. She says she could go into more detail about other achievements in the Home Office - but will instead talk about the "deadly terrorist threat we face".
Theresa May acknowledges that "problems" still remain with stop and search and says she is determined to ensure that nobody is ever stopped and searched "because of the colour of their skin". That meets with more applause from the audience.
tweets: David Davis predicts Theresa May will have "real trouble" getting her "extremism" crackdown through Commons #cpc14
Theresa May is talking about police stop-and-search powers - and asks conference to imagine what it is like to be stopped by police and searched "only because you are young, male and black". She says when used appropriately it is effective - but that 27% stops are carried out without the reasonable grounds for suspicion required by law. This is wrong, she says, and "hugely damaging" to confidence in the police. And that is why she has reformed stop and search, she adds, to applause.
tweets: Really powerful speech by young black man at #cpc14 about stop + search. Despite never committed crime, stopped 20 times
Home Secretary Theresa May enters the conference hall to a standing ovation.
BBC News Facebook followers comment on the BBC News Facebook page. Diane Dadswell writes: I called at 8.30 (straight through) for a dr apt today and was given 10am. I arrived early after dropping child off. Was called in before I had taken a seat and was in chemist getting antibiotics 5 minutes before my appointment should have begun. When our nhs works it's fab. Please don't destroy it!
A man walks past the Conservative conference, the exact colour of his Mohican hairstyle hard to discern.
Party activists are preparing for a speech from Home Secretary Theresa May, due to take place in just a few moments.
Centre for Social Justice director Christian Guy chairs the panel discussion on slavery.
@igster tweets: So I guess Boris must think Richard Barnes is 'utterly nuts' then. What does that make the person who hired the 'utterly nuts' person?
A panel is discussing the Modern Slavery Bill to tackle human trafficking and modern day slavery, currently making its way through Parliament. It would change the maximum jail sentence from 14 years to life, create a new post of anti-slavery commissioner and ensure compensation is paid to victims. The package of measures applies specifically to England and Wales, but ministers say they want it to have the "broadest UK-wide effect".
David Cameron and Boris Johnson have a chat, captured in glorious monochrome.
Peter in South Wales: I would love to have longer GP opening hours. The trouble is that I live in Wales with a second rate health service. In my local health centre it is extremely difficult to get an appointment at all. I would like to get rid of the Welsh Assembly and have consistent standards of public services across the whole of the UK.
tweets: @Conservatives 7 day GP access & funding for more GPs will help #Norwich patients. Norwich GPs apply to 2nd Access Fund to make it happen
Activists are now listening to a speech from Christian Guy, director of the Centre for Social Justice. It precedes a panel discussion on modern slavery.
tweets: Great to have Richard Barnes join UKIP, both as a man of great political experience but also for his depth of knowledge of counter terrorism
In a slight teaser to conference, Mr Grayling told activists they will hear more on the Conservatives' policy on human rights law "very shortly". Can we expect an announcement in David Cameron's speech tomorrow, perhaps?
Chris Grayling claims Labour cannot be trusted with the criminal justice system, as he seeks to paint the party as soft on crime and justice. "They have learned nothing. We have got to stop them," he tells the hall. Only the Conservatives can keep communities safe, Mr Grayling concludes, before urging activists to fight for a working majority at the election. Delegates rise to their feet and applaud.
Home Secretary Theresa May walks to the conference centre ahead of her speech, expected at 11:30 BST.
Chris Grayling is now focusing his remarks on the UK's relationship with the EU - endorsing the prime minister's plans for an in/out referendum. But he says there is "no way" he could accept the UK ever becoming part of an EU justice system which is what "many in Brussels want". Only the Tories can be trusted to "say no", he adds.
Turning to human rights, Chris Grayling says it is "crazy" that a terror suspect can "claim their human rights to stay here" and receives applause when he criticises the European Court of Human Rights ruling against the UK's blanket ban on prisoners voting.
Chris Grayling says the government is keeping its commitment on tougher sentencing, telling the hall that the most serious offenders will lose the right to automatic release under government plans,
Chris Grayling says the next big reform challenge for his department is mental health. He says far too many people with acute mental health conditions end up in prisons, and self harm or take their own lives. He tells the hall that a future Tory government would set up specialist centres in prisons to focus on mental health needs.
In case the Twitter comment by Lib Dem MP Jeremy Browne (two entries ago) makes no sense, he was referring to Environment Secretary Liz Truss's speech on Monday, in which she said it was a "disgrace" that "we import two-thirds of our apples, nine-tenths of our pears, and two-thirds of our cheese".
Ken Clarke was on fine form at a Bright Blue drinks party last night (it's a new Tory think tank). Bashing UKIP (a party for "grumpy old men who have been disappointed by life") and urging the Tory leadership not to rush into anything on English votes for English MPs. The key to winning the next election, reckoned the veteran Europhile, was to get serious and "grown-up" with voters. "One thing we don't do, we imitate UKIP, we don't actually explain why we think it's rather a nasty organisation and its basic case is folly," added the veteran bruiser.
tweets: Why do the Conservatives think it's "a disgrace" that we import French cheese from France and Italian cheese from Italy?!
Chris Grayling says a future Conservative government would introduce a victims' law "to set victims' rights in statute".
Chris Grayling says the prisons regime has been toughened under his watch, so that they no longer look "like holiday camps". But it is not enough to just be tough, he says, and stresses the importance of prisoner rehabilitation. "Tough but compassionate" is the Conservative approach, he adds.
Chris Grayling says the government is introducing a single point of contact for victims of crime, so they can find out what help is available to them.
The justice secretary tells conference that the sentence for weapons trading offences is going up from 14 years to life.
tweets: Jeremy Hunt to recruit 5,000 more GPs to meet PM pledge of 7 days a week access for patients #cpc14
Chris Grayling says the Conservatives have improved the justice system to ensure it is in favour of the "honest, law-abiding society and that the law is "on your side".
UKIP parliamentary candidate Graham Short says he is just "trying to cheer up" Conservative members as they arrive at the conference centre. "Why don't you save your breath?" said one grumpy activist queuing up at the security tent. Obviously working then...
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling receives a round of applause as he takes to the stage to address delegates. He opens with an attack on Labour's record in power, leaving communities "blighted" by anti-social behaviour and victims "let down" by the justice system.
Conference proceedings are now under way, as activists turn their attention to home and affairs and justice matters. The hall is looking pretty full already.
tweets: On rumours he's about to defect, Jacob Rees-Mogg tells me: "Don't be so bloody ridiculous".
In other defection news, former Tory MP Mark Reckless - who announced his intention to join UKIP on Saturday - has officially stepped down from the Commons today. He was appointed by the chancellor to the Steward and Bailiff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern - the formal mechanism via which a Member of Parliament stands down, as technically they can only resign if they are given a Crown appointment. Mr Reckless will stand for election as UKIP's candidate in the Rochester and Strood by-election prompted by his defection.
At the local English council elections in May, former London deputy mayor Richard Barnes - who has moved to UKIP - stood as an independent candidate against the Conservatives and UKIP in Harefield ward, in the London borough of Hillingdon. He was beaten by both, coming fourth.
tweets: Protecting wealthy pensioners may be good politics for PM on #R4Today while squeezing lowest-paid, but it isn't "we're all in this together"
Annabel in Plymouth: I am an 80-year old who should have had a named GP since April. The practice finally wrote in July, telling me my named GP, and adding (I paraphrase) "but don't think you will ever be able to see him; you will just have to go on seeing any old GP as at present".
Boris Johnson is likely to be unimpressed with his former deputy Richard Barnes's move to UKIP. Only yesterday did the mayor say that any Conservatives thinking of jumping ship to join the rival party "must be utterly nuts" - following two Tory MP defections in one month. Mr Johnson said only the Tories could "sort out" the UK's relationship with the EU, and called for the "great Conservative family" to unite to win a working majority next year.
The PM poses for a pic with Parveer Hasan, a member of the Conservative Women's Hub.
tweets: Excellent policy of 7 day a week access to GPs. Trust WG will follow suit in Wales.
Richard Ansell in Surrey: Seven day access cannot be achieved with the funds provided. The system is already buckling under the strain of the aging population with increasingly complex medical needs.
tweets: @MPritchardMP says he won't join UKIP:"My beating heart is Conservative"; "the bookies have me as favourite but I wouldn't put money on it"
New EU team to review Europe's green policies
Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee's concerns for the internet
How will George Osborne's latest changes work?
Profile of UKIP's new recruit - Tory defector Mark Reckless
How previous Commons debates and votes on war have gone
What's Ed Miliband promising if he gets into Downing Street?
Coverage of European election results and reaction
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