As it happened: Tuesday at conference

Key points

  • David Cameron tells the BBC the world economy is at "a moment of danger" as a result of the eurozone crisis
  • London Mayor Boris Johnson pledges to tackle gang culture in the aftermath of the summer riots
  • Justice Secretary Ken Clarke gives more details of his scheme to get prison inmates working
  • Home Secretary Theresa May outlines plans to cut the number of foreign criminals claiming a "right to family life" to avoid deportation
  • But she sparks a row about a foreign criminal she says was allowed to stay in the UK because he had a pet cat

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  1.  
    0954:

    Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the third day of the Conservative conference in Manchester. It's big-hitters all the way today, with London Mayor Boris Johnson kicking things off around 10am. Also up this morning are Home Secretary Theresa May and Justice Secretary Ken Clarke.

     
  2.  
    0956:

    David Cameron has been doing the rounds this morning. On the eurozone, he told the BBC that "safeguards" would be needed to protect UK interests if EU countries commit to greater financial integration. "We will need certain safeguards to make sure that what the eurozone countries are agreeing separately does not adversely affect the single market," he said. "So this is not some na\u00efve view that they go off on their own and we sit back intensely relaxed about it."

     
  3.  
    0956:

    After lunch, the headliners are Education Secretary Michael Gove - at about 3.15pm - followed by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. As well as the speeches, we'll also be bringing you snippets from the conference fringe and analysis from our correspondents.

     
  4.  
    0956:

    No great surprise that Boris Johnson is set to make the case for more investment in London to drive economic growth. Less familiar though, we're expecting him to argue that people who swear at police officers must be punished. He is said to have the backing of London's new police commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, for the tougher stance.

     
  5.  
    1002:

    Mr Cameron was also asked about plans from Theresa May to tighten up immigration rules to stop foreign criminals avoiding deportation by claiming a "right to family life" in the UK. The PM said that right was "not inalienable" and courts must give more weight to protecting the UK as a whole rather than the individual. "We believe this change can work," he added.

     
  6.  
    1006:

    Spotted - Boris Johnson returning from his early morning run in Manchester. Somewhat strangely attired in what appears to be a shirt - let's hope not the same one he'll be appearing in shortly.

    Boris Johnson
     
  7.  
    1008:

    Things have kicked off now in the main hall with the focus on London. David Cameron has taken his seat ahead of the mayor's speech.

     
  8.  
    1011:

    The PM leads the standing ovation as Boris Johnson walks to the stage - the clear message: "We're all friends here."

     
  9.  
    1013:

    Mr Johnson begins in bullish mood, insisting the riots seen in August must never be allowed to happen again. To that end, he promises he will "not allow police numbers to fall below a level I believe is safe or reasonable for a city like London".

     
  10.  
    John Hyde

    tweets: Tory party conference in a chilly but beautiful manchester. Policy exchange event on victim support. Pastry count : 2

     
  11.  
    1016:

    Mr Johnson's message on crime appears to be zero tolerance. He says anyone who fails to tax and insure their car can expect "to get it back for Christmas, in a small cube, from the crusher with love". He also, as expected, says people must not be allowed to swear at police, and sings the praises of ordinary people who stepped in to stop rioters in their tracks.

     
  12.  
    1022:

    Mr Johnson says he wants to offer his colleagues in the Treasury the "wheel deal" - invest in London's infrastructure and the city will be the locomotive for UK economic growth. We will provide the jobs to get the country through these tough times, he adds.

     
  13.  
    Matthew Sparkes:

    tweets: Love a good Boris Johnson speech. How many politicians can get genuine chuckles from an audience?

     
  14.  
    Dave, Teeside

    tweets: Boris Johnson is hilarious but within the humour are some gems of common sense.

     
  15.  
    1027:

    Everything we're doing is about putting the village back into the city, Mr Johnson says. Building affordable, decent-sized homes for families "not hobbits", planting more trees and expanding the cycle hire scheme. By the way, he adds, not a single "Boris bike" was stolen during the riots - although he says he doesn't know whether to be pleased about that or offended.

     
  16.  
    1029:

    The Mayor of London continues his speech in typically exuberant fashion, his stream of jokes goes down well in the hall. Among those enjoying them is the education secretary, pictured here:

    Michael Gove at Boris Johnson's speech
     
  17.  
    Warren Morgan

    tweets: Boris Johnson - "need to put the village back in the city". Well, it already has its own idiot...

     
  18.  
    1032:

    With a final plea for support in the next year's mayoral election, Mr Johnson finishes his well-attended speech. He gets another standing ovation from the audience, including the PM.

     
  19.  
    Ashley Bullard

    tweets: Huge amount of support and standing ovation for Boris Johnson at the Conservative Party Conference and many many jokes & laughs.

     
  20.  
    1035:

    One thing to note, Boris Johnson didn't push the issue of scrapping the 50p top rate of tax - something he's known to favour, but which is hugely controversial, not least with the Lib Dems. The mayor's diplomatic words: "I want the right tax and regulatory framework. I will say no more than that."

     
  21.  
    Garry Kightley

    tweets: Boris Johnson - puts the fun in politics. Makes Cameron , Balls, look like spoilt snooty children.

     
  22.  
    1038:

    Here's Boris Johnson mid flow, looking out into the audience. He got a good turnout for his speech and pitched a few questions at those in the hall.

    Boris Johnson delivers his speech
     
  23.  
    1040:

    Tim Montgomerie, editor of the Conservative Home blog, tells the BBC we must not forget that London is still a Labour city and it's only the force of Boris Johnson's personality that has allowed a Conservative to be mayor. Andrew Gimson, from the Daily Telegraph, says there's a healthy rivalry between Mr Johnson and Mr Cameron, but there's no doubt the former would like the latter's job one day.

     
  24.  
    BBC's Jeremy Vine

    tweets: "I will deliver progress for all the people of this city. Er. Actually not this city, this is Manchester." Boris Johnson via @benedictbrogan

     
  25.  
    1048:

    In the hall now, there's a panel discussion on London, touching on issues like crime, policing and transport. Graham Reeves, owner of the Croydon furniture shop that was burned to the ground during the riots, says he's glad there's an increasing focus being placed on cutting reoffending.

     
  26.  
    1055:

    Virgin boss Richard Branson has given his backing to Ken Clarke's plans to get prisoners working behind bars. Sir Richard - along with other business leaders, including Marks and Spencer boss Marc Bolland - signed a letter to the Financial Times arguing the move could harness the talent of "potential superstars" in the prison population.

     
  27.  
    1057:

    Not everyone is a big fan of Boris, it seems. Outspoken historian David Starkey was at a conference fringe event last night, letting rip at everyone from the "Guardian-reading middle class", to UKIP - "too silly for words" - and the London mayor, a "jester-despot". BBC political reporter Justin Parkinson has written up the event here.

     
  28.  
    1059:

    Coming up next in the conference hall will be a session on home affairs with the aforementioned Ken Clarke, Justice Secretary, and Home Secretary Theresa May.

     
  29.  
    Police Federation of England and Wales

    tweets: Cutting police by 20% is BANANAS!

     
  30.  
    BBC's Peter Mulligan

    tweets: graham reeves , owner of Reeves furniture store in #croydon , tells Tory Party Conference of 'horrendous night' of riots

     
  31.  
    1102:

    Mr Clarke gets going straight away on his plans for "prisons with a purpose". He says he wants inmates planning their future, not their next crime, and paying money back to their victims from their earnings. "It's not rocket science, it can be done," he insists.

     
  32.  
    1104:

    The BBC's Justin Parkinson reports: MP Rory Stewart is calling for elected mayors to be put in place across England, "right down to the market town level". Mr Stewart, who represents Penrith and the Border, told a Guardian fringe meeting these figures should have control over business rates to encourage investment and entrepreneurship. He said: "If you give give power and responsibility, you get higher quality people in local government. You get better brains."

     
  33.  
    Keith Flett

    tweets: Beard Liberation Front says it has officially raised 'deplorably low' numbers of beards at the Tory Conference in Manchester with the Party

     
  34.  
    1108:

    Political digs now. Mr Clarke says he has "a note for Sadiq Khan", his Labour shadow. "What I've just described is what's called a policy," he says sarcastically. It's retaliation for Mr Khan's quip in his Labour conference speech last week suggesting that Mr Clarke snoozes through his leader's speeches. The justice secretary also accuses the previous goverment of a "con" - appearing to enforce longer prison sentences while finding "more and more ways of letting people out early".

     
  35.  
    1109:

    The BBC's Justin Parkinson reports: Some joviality at the security scanning area in the conference entrance. A man in a kilt was asked whether he was carrying a knife in his sock. He replied that there was not much point carrying a "skean dhu" - a ceremonial dagger - given the high level of security. He still managed to set off the scanner, though.

     
  36.  
    1110:

    Mr Clarke says the criminal justice system cannot - and should not - be exempt from spending cuts, and this government cannot continue as the last one did, just throwing more and more money at it.

     
  37.  
    Dan B

    tweets: Off to a Tory party conference fringe event run by a think tank, quite shamelessly, because they have free sandwiches & I am broke.

     
  38.  
    1113:

    The justice secretary uses the words "feral underclass" again - saying it is too big and needs to be diminished - his language which has raised eyebrows in some quarters.

     
  39.  
    1116:

    Some backbench comment on the Andrew Tyrie saga. The chairman of the Commons Treasury committee, who had been critical of the government's economic performance, appeared to change his mind on Monday, having been spoken to by Downing Street advisers. There was some concern at a fringe meeting that he appeared to have been leaned on. But Tory MP Margot James defended the government, saying: "It doesn't help that someone of the stature of Andrew Tyrie comes along on the eve of conference and somewhat punctures our balloon."

     
  40.  
    1116:

    Mr Clarke, with intonation all his own, lists a series of government policies, including payment-by-results for private firms who succeed in getting offenders into work after they leave prison. Two of the moves that get the biggest cheers are criminalising squatting and scrapping referral fees for "ambulance-chasing claims companies". "It's why I'm enjoying myself so much, finding myself rather surprisingly in office," he adds.

     
  41.  
    1120:

    Mr Clarke wraps up and introduces Policing Minister Nick Herbert who's chairing another panel discussion.

     
  42.  
    1126:

    There was a good turnout for Boris Johnson's speech earlier - here's a shot of the audience, including the PM, listening to the London mayor:

    David Cameron in the audience
     
  43.  
    1126:

    Vincent Martin, a former criminal who's taken part in rehabilitation programme Only Connect, is telling the conference about his experiences. He says he was glad when he first went to prison because it gave him "the stripe of recognition within the criminal fraternity that I was looking for". He says he did come out of prison with more skills - but they were of the criminal variety - and there was no provision inside to help inmates change their lives.

     
  44.  
    1129:

    Danny Kruger, a former speechwriter for David Cameron who now runs Only Connect, says the bureaucracy involved in accessing public money is a serious hindrance and officials do make life difficult. "I think there needs to be more trust in organisations like mine, based on the outcomes we achieve," he tells the hall.

     
  45.  
    1131:

    BBC political correspondent Carole Walker reports: The health secretary has strongly rejected the concerns raised by public health doctors over the NHS reforms. He told the BBC: "The fact that people have specific concerns I have no problem with and we've been working with people right across the service. What I think is unhelpful is people who make assertions as a number of doctors have done this morning, make assertions for which there is not a shred of evidence and where I can literally point to where the reform programme and the Bill and the practice that we are seeing across the country is demonstrating that what they say is completely untrue."

     
  46.  
    1137:

    Immigration Minister Damian Green takes to the stage. After a prolonged pause at the lectern, he says: "Well, I was waiting for an introduction but..." and goes on to introduce himself.

     
  47.  
    1140:

    Theresa May is in the audience ahead of her speech, in which she's expected to talk about plans to change immigration rules to prevent "abuse" of the "right to family life" -under the European Convention on Human Rights - by foreign criminals

    Theresa May
     
  48.  
    1140:

    Under Labour, immigration was out of control and the British public won't forgive them for that, Mr Green says. But he argues that a points-based system alone - which Labour introduced - is "pointless".

     
  49.  
    Ex-News of the World's David Wooding

    tweets: Top detective spotted working under cover at the Tory party conference in Manchester.

     
  50.  
    1144:

    Mr Green says the immigration system is like a balloon - if you squeeze only on one side, it will bulge out elsewhere. That's why, he says, the government is going to tackle all three main forms of immigration - for study, work and family ties - at the same time.

     
  51.  
    1146:

    Boris Johnson's mayoral rival, Labour's Ken Livingstone, has responded to his speech. Mr Livingstone says the mayor is "out of touch". "He gave no hope to Londoners facing another steep fare rise this January, which will mean bus fares are up 56% under a Tory mayor, and gave no hard commitment on police numbers, which are in fact due to fall by 1,800 according to his own Metropolitan Police figures."

     
  52.  
    1148:

    On the subject of students, Mr Green says he wants those who complete their courses to stay in the UK only if they have a job - "no more hanging around for years", he insists. Taken together, measures on student visas will cut net migration by more than 60,000, he adds.

     
  53.  
    1151:

    "We're going to make people prove they have a genuine relationship," Mr Green says, requiring spouses to stay for five years, not the current two, before they can be given full citizen rights.

     
  54.  
    1152:

    Mr Green concludes by saying that getting immigration under control is one of the most important tasks the government faces, adding: "We will do it."

     
  55.  
    Janet, Isle of Wight

    texts: Prisons with a purpose - Prisoners have been educated in prison much earlier, in the 1950s. Perhaps someone will remind Ken Clarke. They can even get a law degree there! I knew of one who had MIMechE.

     
  56.  
    1156:

    Here's Ken Clarke, delivering his speech earlier.

    Ken Clarke
     
  57.  
    1157:

    Now up, Home Secretary Theresa May. She introduces the first person planning to stand as a Conservative candidate to be a police and crime comissioner - Colonel Tim Collins. He became famous during the Iraq war for his inspirational eve-of-battle speech to British troops.

     
  58.  
    1159:

    Col Collins takes the stage, announcing his plan to stand in Kent. He says the force is already "match fit" but can get better. He says commisioners should not be "retired policemen with an axe to grind" and must be of the highest calibre. Don't forget, the whole idea of police and crime commissioners is pretty controversial - not least among the police themselves.

     
  59.  
    1202:

    Theresa May takes the spotlight again, using her favourite phrase to describe her vision of the police - "single-minded crime fighters". She attacks Labour for, as she sees it, suggesting that policing should be about anything other than cutting crime. She promises "to take an axe to Labour's bureacracy".

     
  60.  
    1204:

    Onto the thorny issue of spending cuts. Mrs May says that forces will face a 6% cash reduction. That's a stark contrast to the figures used by Police Federation leader Paul McKeever last week at the Labour conference - he said the cuts were actually as much as 32%.

     
  61.  
    John Hyde

    tweets: Tory party conference has more flyers than Edinburgh fringe. Very loud Christian preacher calling on George osborne to 'renounce his sins'

     
  62.  
    1208:

    BBC News home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani reports: Damian Green told the party faithful that his government was determined to bring annual net migration down to "sustainable levels" after what he said was years of mismanagement by Labour. He defined sustainable as "tens of thousands" - a target that looks incredibly tough on some projections. It was the kind of crowd-pleasing, tough-talking speech you'd expect at a party conference - but independent migration experts point to the challenges ahead. A recent research paper for the Office for National Statistics revealed that 300,000 Eastern and Central European workers came to the UK during the recession. Employers said they needed them to fill jobs that Brits neither wanted nor could do.

     
  63.  
    1208:

    Mrs May is discussing gang culture, something she says in "endemic" in many of the UK's cities. She says the government's new gang strategy will be published by the end of October.

     
  64.  
    1213:

    Mrs May now moves on to the Human Rights Act - something she says, in no uncertain terms, "needs to go". She argues it has allowed foreign criminals to avoid deportation from the UK on a number of spurious grounds - one at least, she tells the audience, was allowed to stay here because he had a pet cat.

     
  65.  
    1215:

    Scrapping the Human Rights Act is something David Cameron favours too, but the Lib Dems are dead against it. Leader Nick Clegg made his view very clear recently, stating, as he put it, "in words of one syllable": "It is here to stay."

     
  66.  
    Guardian's Peter Walker

    tweets: Theresa May laying into human rights act with some relish. Like a Daily Mail column made flesh. Delegates love it

     
  67.  
    1218:

    BBC political reporter Brian Wheeler has been out and about with his camera. On the 2012 stand at the Conservative conference, an \u00a385 train set. Apparently it usually sells for \u00a3100 and is a bit of a bargain.

    Train set
     
  68.  
    1219:

    That's it from the home secretary. It sounds like there were a few "whoops" as well as claps from the appreciative audience.

     
  69.  
    Ian, Leicester

    emails: I think the idea of Police & Crime Commissioners is hugely dangerous. Chief Constables sacked on the whim of a local special interest group. I've been broadly in favour of most of coalition policy - but this is a desperately bad idea, the worst of American policy. Am I bovvered - Very!

     
  70.  
    1227:

    Stephen Pound, Labour MP and devout Ken Livingstone supporter, tells BBC 2's Daily Politics that Boris Johnson's speech this morning was "lacklustre" and "poorly received". Not sure "lacklustre" is a word much used about Boris. Mr Pound says his man needn't worry about being eight points behind in the polls for the next London mayor - the "volatility" in the English capital means a lot can change before the election.

     
  71.  
    1227:

    Another picture from the Conservative conference stands. This book is filled with blank pages - a continuation of the favourite Tory theme that the Labour leader has no policies. Doesn't look like it's flying off the shelves - perhaps because it's on sale for \u00a35 a pop...

    Book at the Conservative conference
     
  72.  
    Labour MP Kerry McCarthy

    tweets: Tories playing Primal Scream 'Rocks' as Theresa May speech finishes...These are the lyrics http://bit.ly/oNyQFh

     
  73.  
    Tory Cllr Stephen Ellis

    tweets: Have to say Theresa May nailed it today - if only she'd been this strong during the riots

     
  74.  
    1234:

    In the spirit of coalition, Lib Dem MP Don Foster is attending the Conservative conference. He tells the BBC's Daily Politics he and his yellow-tied colleagues are being "swamped in kindness". He also says he agreed with almost everything George Osborne said in his speech yesterday - to his obvious surprise - although he thinks the Tory faithful in the hall didn't like it much.

     
  75.  
    1237:

    Conservative Peter Bone - who says he's happy to be thought of as embodying the spirit of the Tea Party in the UK - thinks the likes of Mr Foster have too much power. The "Lib Dem tail is wagging the Tory dog", he tells the Daily Politics, "We've rolled back on a lot of things."

     
  76.  
    1239:

    Here's former Conservative leadership contender David Davis signing the book he has edited, The Future of Conservatism, which has ideas from figures on the right of the party about policies after the coalition. He tells the BBC's Brian Wheeler the book is outselling every other at the conference.

    David Davis
     
  77.  
    1241:

    Sandwiches are being scoffed and cups of tea quaffed at the conference now, and we're going to slow down our coverage a bit over lunch too. Don't go away though, we'll have Education Secretary Michael Gove and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley this afternoon.

     
  78.  
    1256:

    Remember that comment from Theresa May earlier that someone had claimed the "right to family life" to remain in the UK because he had a pet cat? A spokesman for the judiciary says not. "This was a case in which the Home Office conceded that they had mistakenly failed to apply their own policy - applying at that time to that appellant - for dealing with unmarried partners of people settled in the UK. That was the basis for the decision to uphold the original tribunal decision - the cat had nothing to do with the decision." Mrs May tells the BBC it was a case that was "identified and reported" - but says she would "obviously" look at any statement the judiciary made.

     
  79.  
    1258:

    On the immigration rules review, Labour says it will welcome any "clarification" of how the courts should interpret the law. But shadow policing minister Vernon Coaker tells the BBC there is already a sufficient balance and Mrs May's "rhetoric does not match the reality".

     
  80.  
    1322:

    Another London mayoral hopeful - Lib Dem Brian Paddick - has been responding to Boris Johnson's speech earlier. He criticised the mayor for not cancelling his holiday straight away at the start of the riots and added: "Boris's speech was full of waffle because he's done so little for London as mayor. He claims other people's achievements as his own because he doesn't have any himself and he clearly has no vision for the city's future."

     
  81.  
    Daily Mail Online

    tweets: Pure political Viagra: MELANIE PHILLIPS: Just heard Boris at the Tory party conference in Manchester ... http://bit.ly/nmoNBe

     
  82.  
    1352:

    David Cameron has been speaking to the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson. The prime minister has said this is a "moment of danger" for the global economy. He also said there were "serious clouds" on the horizon and urgent action was needed to stabilise the eurozone and boost growth.

     
  83.  
    ToryPressHQ

    Tweets: Judge: the joint acquisition of Maya (the cat) by appellant and partner reinforces my conclusion on strength and quality of his family life

     
  84.  
    1420:

    Right, we're back up to speed now after lunch. Delegates will be filing back into the conference hall shortly in eager anticipation of speeches from Education Secretary Michael Gove and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. Before them, Children's Minister Tim Loughton and Communities Minister Greg Clark will take to the stage.

     
  85.  
    1437:

    Catgate continues. Justice Secretary Ken Clarke tells the BBC: "I can't believe anybody was refused deportation just because they owned a cat, but if a cat featured in the case I'd be interested to see."

     
  86.  
    1443:

    Communities and Local Government Minister Greg Clark tells delegates the lack of affordable housing in the UK is "destroying family life". He says the government can't let this situation go on.

     
  87.  
    1444:

    On the subject of the controversial planning reforms - shifting the balance in favour of development - Mr Clark seeks to reassure. He says the UK has a "matchless countryside" and no-one feels more strongly about cherishing it than the government does.

     
  88.  
    1444:

    The BBC's Justin Parkinson reports: At a lunchtime fringe meeting organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt backed the idea of replacing Trident. She argued that it worked as a constant deterrent, adding: "If you have to fire a missile, it's failed."

     
  89.  
    1444:

    As he sits down, it's worth noting a slight echo of Ed Miliband's "promise of Brtain" in Greg Clark's speech. He says the government wants the next generation "to have all of the chances that we had - and more besides".

     
  90.  
    Broadcaster Jon Gaunt

    tweets: Bumped into Cameron today, he said Hi Gaunty what you up to? I replied causing mischief and trying to get you to give us a referendum on EU!

     
  91.  
    1450:

    Away from the conference hall itself, David Cameron has been meeting Waitrose managing director Mark Price. It follows an announcement from the company that it plans to build a distribution centre in north west England, creating around 600 jobs.

    David Cameron and Waitrose managing director Mark Price
     
  92.  
    1451:

    The BBC's Justin Parkinson reports: More from the CND fringe meeting. One man complained on several occasions that the threat from possible accidents at nuclear power plants was far greater than that from nuclear missiles. He even cited some US research to back up his case. But another man was less than impressed: "Just because you read it out, it doesn't mean it's true."

     
  93.  
    1451:

    Children's Minister Tim Loughton is now hosting a Q&A session entitled "Young People and Cities". He says he's "fed up" of hearing negative stories about teenagers - he says this government is going to get away from the "respect agenda, Asbo-wielding" style of Labour.

     
  94.  
    1453:

    Communities champion Baroness Newlove says "it's not just one purse that matters" - the taxpayer's she means - especially in the light of spending cuts. She says lots of different purses need to come together to provide services for young people.

     
  95.  
    Mark Fuller

    tweets: Big difference in party vocabulary: Labour talks in dry policy jargon, Tories in folksy homilies. Both should be more human. #cpc11

     
  96.  
    1503:

    Amnesty International UK is not happy with Home Secretary Theresa May, accusing her of "tangling herself up in contradictions in her apparent attempt to play to the crowd". Tara Lyle, policy adviser, said: "The Human Rights Act is often made into a pantomime villain. In fact, it is a list of protections that apply to every person in our society. That someone in Theresa May's position can be so misinformed as to parade out a story about someone being allowed to stay in Britain because of a cat, is nothing short of alarming."

     
  97.  
    1505:

    BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani has been looking into the details of the pet cat deportation case - read the full story here

     
  98.  
    1505:

    Tim Loughton says the government "must and will do a lot better" on adoption, after figures last week showed just 60 babies were adopted last year. "We're going to be doing a lot more on this," he says, telling that audience that "being a bit overweight, like me" is not an obstacle, nor is being a smoker.

     
  99.  
    Edward Butler-Ellis

    tweets: Parents should also engage with their children and help with youth projects, shouldn't all just be left to government and agencies #cpc11

     
  100.  
    1509:

    National Union of Students president Liam Burns asks what extra powers students will get to ensure that tuition is of a high standard at a time when the costs are rising so dramatically. Universities Minister David Willetts says he agrees they must have a louder voice - and welcomes Mr Burns to the conference despite the, at times, strained relations between the NUS and government.

     
  101.  
    1510:

    Has David Willetts just coined a new word - "skillionaire"? Among those given the title are James Dyson, of vacuum fame, and if Mr Willetts has his way, there'll be lots more like him. He promises that the government will deliver 10,000 higher skilled apprenticeships, which go beyond A-level standards of qualification.

     
  102.  
    1520:

    BBC political reporter Brian Wheeler reports: Everyone queueing up to get into the Tory conference has to walk past this sign - but Attorney General Dominic Grieve is trying not to take it too personally. "I think it is generic," he tells me at a fringe meeting, adding, with a glint in his eye, that the protester is entitled to free speech under Article 10 of the Human Rights Act. The man responsible for the sign tells me, after thrusting a closely typed leaflet into my hand explaining his grievances, that he used to wave it at Jack Straw too...

    The sign
     
  103.  
    1520:

    In the hall, David Willetts says that in future EU procurement rules will no longer apply to most universities. This will mean that they can more easily make links with business - on matters like recruitment and investment - without worrying about competition regulations.

     
  104.  
    1522:

    A slightly bizarre moment when David Willetts says he can announce that British scientists have created a new kind of broccoli which cuts rates of heart disease and some cancers. It'll be in Marks & Spencer shortly, he adds proudly. And with that, he's finished.

     
  105.  
    1524:

    High-tech stuff in the conference hall now. Education Secretary Michael Gove is on the stage doing a live video link-up to David Cameron at a school in Manchester. Behind the PM, several boys are glued to computers - doggedly resisting the temptation to turn round and look at the camera.

     
  106.  
    1534:

    Greg Martin, headteacher of Durand Academy, tells the conference that "background can never be used to justify failure". He says all children at his school are required to give their best - but can expect the best in return. He says the country must not tolerate poor teaching or poor management in schools.

     
  107.  
    1538:

    Was the justice secretary consulted about Theresa May's announcement on changing immigration rules? Ken Clarke told the BBC: "I haven't discussed it with her." But he said if she was proposing a change to Article 8 - under which people can claim the "right to family life" - to make it clearer, "that's fine with me".

     
  108.  
    1541:

    Mr Gove is currently playing compere to the education discussion. He now introduces Sally Coates, headtacher of Burlington Danes Academy.

     
  109.  
    1544:

    Ms Coates says the transformation at her school had not been easy, but has some tips for those hoping to emulate her success. The headteacher must be strong and visible, and discipline must be strict. "The school must be clearly different from the street," she says. "And children must be treated as children."

     
  110.  
    1554:

    There's a few young 'uns in the audience at the Tory conference. Leaders of the future perhaps?

    Young delegates at the Conservative conference
     
  111.  
    1555:

    Quddus Akinwale, a pupil at Burlington Danes Academy, gets a standing ovation for his speech. He tells conference the improvement in the school has transformed his life. "It has helped me believe in myself and that is how every student should feel."

     
  112.  
    1559:

    Michael Gove says he's angry at the previous Labour government for its record on education. He says the divide between the achievements of the rich and poor is bad for the individual but also an act of economic "self-harm", because of the loss of potential.

     
  113.  
    1559:

    UKIP are in force in Manchester. They're driving this rather eye-catching van around and arguing that the Conservatives have become a "shadow of its former self" on the issues of crime, immigration and of course, Europe. Leader Nigel Farage says "many fed-up Tories" are joining his party. It's not all one-way traffic though, ex-UKIP faces inside the conference zone include MEPs Nikki Sinclaire and David Campbell-Bannerman.

    Ukip van
     
  114.  
    1610:

    As several speakers have done before him today, Mr Gove discusses the August riots. He says it's important "to keep moral clarity" and understand that what we saw on the streets was "a battle between right and wrong". He says those values come from the home and fathers in particular, adding: "If you were there at your child's conception, you should be there for the rest of their life."

     
  115.  
    1613:

    The BBC's home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani has been getting his teeth into Theresa May's cat, so to speak. To read more about the row, check out his article.

     
  116.  
    1614:

    Back in the hall, Mr Gove vows that he's "not going to quit this job until every school is as good as the best". And with that, he's done.

     
  117.  
    1617:

    Among the high-brow tomes on sale at the Tory conference, spot the one from Lib Dem David Laws. He, of course, had to stand down not long after his appointment to the new coalition cabinet last May - but is expected to return to the top in not too long.

    Books on sale at Conservative conference
     
  118.  
    1622:

    Friends of the Earth's executive director Andy Atkins says Greg Clark's speech earlier did little to address "the growing chorus of concern" over the government's planning reforms. He says "ministers must change direction" and enshrine a commitment to sustainable development "that recognises environmental limits" in the forthcoming legislation.

     
  119.  
    1624:

    Next up in the conference hall, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

     
  120.  
    1630:

    Mr Lansley starts by thanking NHS staff for their work, singling out nurses for special praise. The health secretary's reform plans have proved controversial with many health workers, so this opening is no doubt carefully planned.

     
  121.  
    1632:

    As expected, Mr Lansley says he will change the law to make sure that any overseas doctor found to be lacking sufficient English language skills will not be able to work in the NHS.

     
  122.  
    1632:

    BBC Political Reporter Brian Wheeler says: Attorney General Dominic Grieve was being very on-message at his fringe meeting earlier. He denied reports that he was none too impressed with Home Secretary Theresa May's call for the Human Rights Act to be scrapped. He said it had always been the Conservative Party's "wish to repeal the Human Rights Act and replace it with a UK Bill of Rights." He added: "I don't think there is anything in what the home secretary said which disagreed with that."

     
  123.  
    1635:

    Michael Gove looking up to his leader earlier - on the big screen. David Cameron appeared by video link from a Manchester school.

    Education Secretary Michael Gove
     
  124.  
    1638:

    Mr Lansley is listing good things the government is doing on health - giving more money for mental health therapies, giving respite to carers, investing in new forms of screening and treatment. He says, to applause, that there are now 5,000 fewer managers in the NHS than when the coalition came to power.

     
  125.  
    1645:

    The health secretary says he's creating a new programme to give doctors better information about drugs for rare diseases. He also turns his fire on Labour, accusing them of mishandling the NHS in Wales - saying spending there is lower and deaths from hospital-acquired infections higher.

     
  126.  
    1653:

    Mr Lansley says "bringing change to the NHS has not been easy, but it has been the right thing to do". He goes on: "Labour and their trade union puppet masters can push out all the lies they like, but we will fight back."

     
  127.  
    1654:

    It looks like David Cameron has been running tomorrow's big speech by his foreign secretary. William Hague has written a book or two in his time, and delivered his own leader's speeches, so he's bound to some tips.

    David Cameron and William Hague, with aides
     
  128.  
    1701:

    Labour has hit back over the cat deportation case - raised by Theresa May in her speech earlier. Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan says: "The energy and time this government is spending on arguments about the Human Rights Act shows how completely out of touch it is with the British people who are not interested in cat fights between ministers but how the safety of their communities will be protected after cuts in police budgets which go too far and too fast."

     
  129.  
    1704:

    In the conference hall, health is still the topic of discussion. Dr Neil Bacon, a doctor and entrepreneur, is now addressing delegates. He set up iwantgreatcare.org, a website that rates NHS services, and says transparency about performance drives improvement, saves money and saves lives.

     
  130.  
    1716:

    As well as working on his speech, the prime minister has been visiting Cedar Mount high school in Gorton, Manchester. Here he is with 15-year-old Tino Muchirawehondo - she's trying to solve a maths problem, but is probably a bit distracted.

    15-year-old Tino Muchirawehondo and David Cameron
     
  131.  
    1717:

    Defence Secretary Liam Fox comes over all coy when asked whether he shares Theresa May's view that the Human Rights Act should be scrapped. "It wouldn't be a million miles off it," he tells the BBC's Huw Edwards with a smile. "But in a coalition there are some things you cannot do."

     
  132.  
    1723:

    Health Minister Simon Burns is speaking to party members as the day draws to a close. He says that over the last year there's been "a considerable amount of misinformation spread by people who should know better" - not least Labour, which is particularly disingenuous, he adds, given that the current measures are only building on what the previous government started.

     
  133.  
    1726:

    That's it for our conference coverage for today. Thanks for your contributions - we'll be back again tomorrow when the highlight will be David Cameron's big speech. His warm-up acts will include Foreign Secretary William Hague and Defence Secretary Liam Fox. We hope you'll join us then.

     

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