As it happened: Tuesday at the Lib Dem conference 2012

  1.  
    0914:

    Live coverage of Tuesday at the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton starts here. On the agenda: a series of constitutional debates, on the Equalities Act 2010, and on Lords elections.

     
  2.  
    0917:

    At 9.45am we're expecting a debate on the "rehabilitation revolution", which involves increasing the use of payment by results in the justice system.

     
  3.  
    0919:

    And there are keynote speeches due from Scottish Secretary Michael Moore at 10.30am, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander at 12.20pm, and chair of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, Sharon Bowles MEP at 3.05pm.

     
  4.  
    0924:

    Yesterday, the conference declared its near-unanimous support for moving from 30mph speed limits in England to 20mph. Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert commented: "Moving towards a national 20mph limit in residential areas is the right thing to do to further lower our road fatality rate and it is clear the public are backing this approach."

     
  5.  
    0929:

    After Vince Cable's "I'm a pleb" speech yesterday, the Guardian reports that Lib Dems could restore their poll ratings "to heights not seen since the honeymoon period after they entered coalition in 2010" were they to defenestrate current leader Nick Clegg and re-anoint former interim leader Vince.

     
  6.  
    0937:

    James Gurling, a delegate from Bermondsey and Old Southwark, introduces what he describes as an "oh-what-might-have-been amendment": a change to the party's constitution establishing a process of selecting candidates for an elected House of Lords. "Unfortunately, the Conservatives and Labour didn't share our vision," he says, as he urges the conference to back the change regardless.

     
  7.  
    0945:

    BBC field producer Paul Lambert reports: There was concern last night when Danny Alexander had his conference pass snatched away by the cruel winds battering the Sussex coast. The chief secretary to the Treasury was strolling through the Lib Dem compound when a gust ripped his ID from his lanyard. Mr Alexander told me the police had been very understanding and their discussions had been entirely courteous.

     
  8.  
    0949:
    Friends of the Earth bee campaign Campaigners from Friends of the Earth draw attention to the plight of the bumblebee, and its honey-producing cousin, outside the conference hall
     
  9.  
    0955:

    Back in the main hall, the conference is applying its collective brain to the rehabilitation of offenders. "We need to think carefully before we open the door to privatisation of our public prisons," Nik Alatortsev, a delegate from the London Borough of Brent, says.

     
  10.  
    0955:

    The Daily Mail reports that George Osborne has "slapped down" Nick Clegg's suggestion that the top 10% of earners should pay more tax. And the paper's deputy political editor, Tim Shipman, writes that, yesterday, Vince Cable "talked up the prospects of a possible Lib-Lab pact" after the next general election.

     
  11.  
    0956:

    Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reports that Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander will use his speech later today to focus on "tax dodgers". He is expected to say concerted action on tax avoidance and evasion will raise almost £4bn for the Treasury this year, deputy political editor James Kirkup writes.

     
  12.  
    1000:

    In other news, Danny Alexander has told BBC News it is time to "draw a line under the matter" of Andrew Mitchell's Downing Street outburst. He said Mr Mitchell's comments were "unacceptable and wrong" but the chief whip had apologised and it was time to "move on".

     
  13.  
    1003:

    But Conservative MP for Amber Valley, Nigel Mills, told BBC Radio Derby that "it's a pretty horrible mess". He said there is "no excuse" for using "foul and abusive language" at police officers, and Mr Mitchell should have issued a "full apology" last week.

     
  14.  
    1006:

    "Community sentences are often more challenging than prison," Lib Dem MP Sir Alan Beith says. As chairman of the Commons justice committee, he has encountered people "who have said that they have committed further offences to get back into prison, because prison is easy." On the other hand, "community sentences were demanding and were forcing them to think about how they change their lives".

     
  15.  
    1008:

    "But we have yet to convince many members of the public, or many sections of the media, that you can make community sentences much more challenging and make them an effective measure that society is taking crime seriously," Sir Alan concedes.

     
  16.  
    1022:

    Jill Hope, the Lib Dem candidate in the forthcoming parliamentary by-election in Corby, launches into a bombastic criticism of cuts to rehabilitation services. "When I hear somebody standing at this podium saying we have to build more prisons - you've got to be joking," she says. "It costs more to put people in prison than it does to stay at the conference hotel each night."

     
  17.  
    1031:
    Sir Menzies Campbell Former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell in the crowd
     
  18.  
    1031:

    Winding up the debate, Baroness Hamwee seeks to ease qualms about private involvement in the justice system. "'Payment by results' is about raising standards and outcomes in all prisons," she argues.

     
  19.  
    1032:

    By a very large majority, the conference backs a "presumption in favour of robust community sentences and restorative justice against ineffective and costly short sentences of up to six months" and "efforts to increase uptake in restorative justice sentences where these are available".

     
  20.  
    1032:

    Delegates have also thrown their weight behind some ideas designed to make it easier for smaller private firms to enter the market in rehabilitation services.

     
  21.  
    1033:

    But a bid to remove a reference to "payment by results" prisons from the motion fails.

     
  22.  
    1035:

    We've moved on to keynote speeches from Scottish Secretary Michael Moore and Willie Rennie, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

     
  23.  
    1039:

    Mr Moore says it is his duty to "safeguard the devolution settlement", hitting out at the Scottish National Party. "We stand up for devolution, and against independence," he says. "And when referendum day comes, Liberal Democrats will be at the forefront of the campaign to keep our UK family together."

     
  24.  
    1042:

    "Poll after poll shows that Scots want to stay in the UK family," the Scottish secretary says.

     
  25.  
    1044:

    Willie Rennie is at the podium, ramping up the anti-Salmond rhetoric.

     
  26.  
    1045:
    Delegates in the main hall A warm reception for the Scottish secretary, Michael Moore
     
  27.  
    1047:

    Next up, from around 10.50am, delegates will debate whether to "address inequality in wealth and assets by switching the balance of taxation towards those with the broadest shoulders, and in particular increasing taxes on unearned income and wealth".

     
  28.  
    1050:

    An amendment to this line proposes a specific way to achieve this. The coalition's priority should be "an annual Mansion Tax on the excess value of residential properties over £2 million", it says.

     
  29.  

    The BBC's Tim Reid tweets: Rennie tells activists not to let independence debate to be dominated by the "extreme views of the nationalists" #ldconf

     
  30.  
    1055:

    "The UK is now more unequal than at any time since the 1920s," former leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Lord German says. "It's been going on for so long that we almost believe it's the natural way of things."

     
  31.  
    1058:

    Inequality is "corrosive" and "rots society from within", Lord German says. He attacks "rabid" Conservatives who "promote the strongest and provide a safety net for those who fall out of system" as "bound to fail". But Labour does not escape his criticisms either.

     
  32.  
    1101:

    Winding up, Lord German urges delegates to support the Mansion Tax amendment.

     
  33.  
    1107:

    The Mansion Tax is the "big bazooka" in the Lib Dem manifesto, Lord Oakeshott says. Why should multi-millionaire home-owners in the UK's "islands of opulence" pay just £42 per week in council tax, he asks.

     
  34.  
    1115:

    Lord Oakeshott takes a swipe at the Conservatives, attacking the party's position on tax avoidance and evasion. His message to Chancellor George Osborne: "Go for our mansion tax and I promise I won't attack you for selective moral outrage."

     
  35.  
    1134:

    Interventions are being taken from delegates in the main hall, in the debate on inequality.

     
  36.  
    1135:

    Away from the conference hall, some MPs have taken to Twitter to comment on today's inclement weather. "That's not normally a lake," tweets the Conservative's Rory Stewart, MP for rural Penrith and the Border. "Take care, around #Newcastle," adds local Labour MP Chi Onwurah: "Floodwarnings for Ouseburn & Derwent. Up to 20mm rain to come."

     
  37.  
    1141:

    From the BBC's Gavin Stamp, in Brighton: Have you ever wondered how Lib Dem MPs and peers spent their early years? The National Union of Teachers has given us an insight by asking them to choose their favourite childhood book.

     
  38.  
    1141:

    Nick Clegg has revealed he tucked up in bed with The Tiger Who Came to Tea while Bob Russell and John Hemming were enchanted by perennial classics Rupert The Bear and Biggles.

     
  39.  
    1142:

    Chris Huhne has fond memories of The Phantom Toll Booth but the most popular tome among budding Liberal politicians was The Very Hungry Caterpillar - chosen by Ed Davey, Paddy Ashdown and Jim Wallace. Make of that what you will!

     
  40.  
    1146:

    Just as the Lib Dem conference has advocated increasing reliance on community sentences, the BBC's Mark D'Arcy is wondering why the the Crime and Courts Bill, which may have done just that under previous Justice Secretary Ken Clarke, has been delayed. "Is the toughness promised by the new Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, about to take legislative form?" he asks.

     
  41.  
    1150:

    Meanwhile, BBC political reporter Justin Parkinson reports that Lib Dem president Tim Farron has accused the Lib Dem negotiating team on the coalition agreement of failing to push hard enough to prevent an increase in tuition fees. Nonetheless, he awarded their efforts "nine out of 10".

     
  42.  
    1212:

    Lib Dem peer Lord Greaves is reprimanded for speaking for too long. After repeated calls for him to draw his remarks to a close, Lord Greaves says "Ok I'm finishing. One more sentence...". "Sorry Tony, I'm going to have to cut you off," the chair responds. But on he goes, until his microphone is switched off. Announcing the next speaker, the chair remarks: "I hope she's better behaved than Lord Greaves," prompting laughter in the hall.

     
  43.  
    1222:

    "Inequality matters," summarises delegate David Hall-Matthews, as the debate winds up. The conference backs the motion on "Tackling Inequality at its Roots", and the Mansion Tax amendment, by a very large majority.

     
  44.  
    1224:

    Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is taking to the stage for his keynote speech. "Fellow plebs," he begins.

     
  45.  
    1227:

    "Not everything about the budget this year was perfect," he concedes. "But the income tax cut was by far the most important measure in the budget... A cleaner on the minimum wage will see their tax bill halved, thanks to the Liberal Democrats," he says.

     
  46.  
    1229:

    ITV's Alex Forrest ‏tweets: Oh dear Danny! Stick to the serious script - don't laugh at your own jokes! (Four U-turns and a wedding.)

     
  47.  
    1235:

    A more formal look for Danny Alexander today. He went tie-less for his Q&A session with conference on Monday.

     
  48.  
    1235:
    Nick Clegg A shift to the right? Nick Clegg rejects his designated chair
     
  49.  
    1237:

    "Credibility" is the message of the day from Mr Alexander. He insists the government will not be blown off course because its economic strategy has "restored confidence" in the nation's ability to "pay its way" and kept interest rates low.

     
  50.  
    1240:

    "We have this message to the small minority of wealthy people who don't play by the rules: We are coming to get you and you will pay your fair share," Mr Alexander warns.

     
  51.  
    1244:

    The chief secretary to the Treasury throws his weight behind a Mansion Tax: "You can move your money off shore but you can't move your mansion... It's simple, it's fair, it's unavoidable." Lib Dems will continue to push for it in government, he says.

     
  52.  
    1245:

    Another joke at Andrew Mitchell's expense - "Ed Balls and Ed Miliband have about as much credibility as Andrew Mitchell's etiquette coach" - but earlier today Danny Alexander said it was "time to move on" from the matter.

     
  53.  
    1246:

    A standing ovation for the chief secretary to the Treasury as he leaves the conference hall after his speech.

     
  54.  
    1248:

    That's it for the morning session of Tuesday's conference. Delegates will be back at 2.20pm to debate an emergency motion on banks. That will be followed by a keynote speech from Sharon Bowles, the chair of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.

     
  55.  
    1305:

    If you're wondering whether Mr Alexander's tongue-in-cheek claim to be a fashion icon in Pakistan is well founded, Political Scrapbook has the details...

     
  56.  
    1310:

    Nick Clegg is up soon on BBC Radio 4's The World At One being interviewed by Martha Kearney.

     
  57.  
    1311:

    Adrian Sanders, Lib Dem MP for Torbay, says there needs to a be a review of where the economy is heading in the next two and a half years so the government can "cut our cloth accordingly". He suggests the Conservatives might not be able to get the benefits cuts they want.

     
  58.  
    1315:

    Lib Dem minister Don Foster says the £200 winter fuel payment should be looked at as a possible cutback in the future. As a pensioner himself he thinks he shouldn't be getting it.

     
  59.  
    1317:

    Nick Clegg tells BBC Radio 4's World at One that he "fights the Lib Dem corner every day". He says the two coalition parties need to set out their stall to the British people as the next election, due in 2015, gets nearer.

     
  60.  
    1318:

    He says getting the economy back on track will be a Lib Dem priority over the next two and a half years, but there should also be a social objective to make Britain a more socially mobile place.

     
  61.  
    1319:

    Mr Clegg says he also wants to send a "clear signal on the green economy" and set in train some long-term changes such as "finally fixing the broken social care system".

     
  62.  
    1321:

    Nick Clegg is asked about keeping age-related universal benefits like winter fuel allowance. He says there will be no changes in this parliament but in the future "it will be very difficult to explain why we should protect Alan Sugar's free bus pass" when others are facing cuts.

     
  63.  
    1324:

    On a wealth tax, Mr Clegg says he makes "no apology for the Liberal Democrats standing squarely on behalf on the vast, vast majority of people in this country". He said his principal focus will be those with "very, very large assets" like expensive properties.

     
  64.  
    1327:

    Asked about reports that the Lib Dems might consider arguing for a change to council tax bands if they don't get a mansion tax, Mr Clegg said if there are other means to get a tax on the wealthy, "we will look at it".

     
  65.  
    1330:

    Asked about a life after politics, Mr Clegg said he was "full of energy" but has never believed it healthy "for people to dedicate themselves obsessively to politics". He said he had started his party on a journey, and has "a duty, a will and a wish to see that journey through".

     
  66.  
    1333:

    Even though the Lib Dems have had "chunks bitten out" of them, Mr Clegg said it was no time to bail out. The party needs to "hold firm" and in doing so the British public will "not only admire what we have done but also support us come the general election in 2015".

     
  67.  
    1334:

    Despite having to spend her twelfth wedding anniversary at the Lib Dem conference in Brighton on Sunday, Mr Clegg says his wife Miriam is "fully supportive" of his leading the party into the next election.

     
  68.  
    1335:

    Mr Clegg said he understands the party has suffered "a considerable cost on our public standing" but, he said, in politics "what goes up goes down and what goes down goes up".

     
  69.  
    1341:

    The Lib Dem leader said it was "ridiculous" to ask his colleague Vince Cable to rule out standing for the party leadership in the future and he wouldn't do it if he was in Mr Cable's position. He said the two work "incredibly well" together and is a "great admirer" of the business secretary.

     
  70.  
    1342: Nick Robinson Political editor

    If you thought the cuts were bad, stand by for more bad news - £16bn of cuts to be precise. The Treasury Chief Secretary, Danny Alexander, has just declared at the Lib Dem conference that the government will soon have to set out "specific plans for the £16bn of savings that are needed" in 2015 - after, that is, the current spending round ends. See my blog for more.

     
  71.  
    1346:

    Think tank IPPR tweets from its fringe event that economist Vicky Pryce says: "we need to work hard to INCREASE the public debt" - to support the economy as it recovers.

     
  72.  
    1349: Politicshomeuk

    tweets: Ed Davey tells @PCollinsTimes at the @Demos fringe on Tories not being keen on green issues - "I had noticed." #ldconf

     
  73.  
    1352:

    Away from Brighton, the latest development in the Andrew Mitchell police row sees Mayor of London Boris Johnson tell BBC London he is "very glad to see" that police warned Mr Mitchell he could be arrested. The mayor says it was "wholly right" officers were "on the verge" of arresting the chief whip.

     
  74.  
    1355: Freedom from Torture

    tweets: Lord Ashdown message to Lib Dems at packed fringe event: party must recover its internationalism.

     
  75.  
    1401:

    Lib Dem blogger Mark Pack gives his verdict on the Danny Alexander speech on Lib Dem Voice: "Fairer taxes, crack down on tax avoidance, an emphasis on the mansion tax and a low-key, getting on with the work in hand delivery: that's Danny Alexander's conference speech in a nutshell."

     
  76.  
    1403:

    For those that missed Nick Clegg's Radio 4 interview, you can listen to it in full here.

     
  77.  
    1406: Daily Mirror Deputy Political Editor, James Lyons

    tweets: Lib Dem press chief @jammyholt brings round cake for hacks before Clegg's speech is briefed - its clearly a corker http://twitpic.com/ay7imk

     
  78.  
    1415:

    Delegates are making their way back into the conference hall for this afternoon's session. There'll be an emergency motion on banks and a keynote speech from Sharon Bowles, the chair of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.

     
  79.  
    1424:

    From the BBC's Justin Parkinson: At a fringe meeting on alcohol abuse, Lib Dem MP Stephen Gilbert reveals that a teenage girl was stopped on the way to a weekend in his Newquay constituency with three litres of vodka and 45 cans of beer in her luggage. Her parents had provided the drinks, he added.

     
  80.  
    1427:

    From the BBC's Justin Parkinson: Henry Ashworth, chief executive of the Portman Group, which calls for responsible drinking, reveals that only two people were convicted in England last year for knowingly selling alcohol to customers who were already drunk.

     
  81.  

    From the BBC's Justin Parkinson: More on the alcohol debate. Stuart Ramsay, from the Co-Operatives Group, argues that small shops rely on the sale of beer, wine and spirits. He adds: "I suggest to you that binge drinking is not new. We may have found a name for it as 'binge drinking', but going out at the weekend and getting drunk is not new."

     
  82.  
    1430:

    The afternoon session is now underway, and the motion being debated says the "manipulation" of the Libor inter-bank lending rate by leading banks is "yet another example of banks and bankers operating a system for their benefit at the expense of the wider economy".

     
  83.  
    1431:

    The motion calls for banks to increase net lending "including making use of [the] Funding for Lending scheme introduced by the coalition government".

     
  84.  
    1433:
    Willie Rennie Wind turbines and jolly engineers: the Lib Dems' backdrop hints at their policy priorities
     
  85.  
    1441:

    "Bankers are not all bad," says Dr Richard Davis - a self-confessed banker. He says the majority of people who work in banks "want to do the best" for customers, and feel "disheartened" by bankers who commit financial crimes.

     
  86.  
    1450:

    Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes accuses bankers of "failing" Britain and "tarnishing" the country's reputation. It is time for British banking to get back to being a respectable profession both at home and abroad, he says.

     
  87.  
    1501:

    Delegate Linda Jack, the chair of the Liberal Left group, says: "I worked in Canary Wharf for a long time - there's no sign of a recession there, we're not all in it together there!" She expresses astonishment at prices in a jeweller catering to financial services staff, where a trinket will set you back a fortune. "But not all bankers are bad," she continues, "a bit like Lib Dems really..."

     
  88.  
    1504:
    Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes Simon Hughes MP sporting a rather snazzy tie
     
  89.  
    1507:

    The conference has just called for "the necessary resources to be made available to the Serious Fraud Office to prosecute, to the full extent, suspected breaches of the law by bankers". It also wants ministers to "consider establishing a professional body of bankers to ensure best practices are followed across the industry".

     
  90.  
    1512:

    There is a "ticking time bomb that may see us on our way out of Europe... and it's a short fuse", the European Parliament economic affairs committee chair Sharon Bowles warns, opening her conference speech. She brands David Cameron's decision to wield a veto at last December's EU summit as a "cancer, souring both relations and structures in Europe".

     
  91.  
    1515:

    "As for those europhobes who promote the idea of a eurozone collapse, are they mad?" Ms Bowles thunders. "It's wishing on the UK a recession like the great depression."

     
  92.  
    1518:

    Greater economic integration in the eurozone presents "serious challenges" for the UK, Ms Bowles says. "We need mutual respect, not animosity for it to work out well for us too," she cautions.

     
  93.  
    1525:

    The Lib Dem MEP elicits applause from delegates as she slams "Tea-Party Tories".

     
  94.  
    1528:

    An ultimatum from Ms Bowles: "There is no escaping international regulation of financial services in today's world. Either Brussels does it, or Washington does it. What would the City prefer?" If it happens in the EU, the UK can have influence, she says.

     
  95.  
    1538:
    Lib Dem badges The word "pleb" becomes a badge of honour
     
  96.  
    1541:

    "Conservatism may place economic efficiency above the individual, but liberalism does not," says Liberal Democrat member of the Welsh Assembly Eluned Parrott, as she rejects the idea of regional pay for public sector workers.

     
  97.  
    1552:

    More from Lib Dem Communities and Local Government Minister, Don Foster MP, on cutting universal age-related benefits for the better-off. He told Radio 5 Live's John Pienaar: "It's not yet the Liberal Democrat policy, it's something we will work on. But if there's something that can be done now then we need to get the economy moving now and not just put it in the Lib Dem manifesto for 2015".

     
  98.  
    1559:

    The whole point of abolishing national pay bargaining is to "pay you less", delegate Janice Turner claims, during this afternoon's debate on fair pay. She says the Lib Dems are the only party to stop "this nonsense, and stop it we must".

     
  99.  
    1603:

    Earlier, Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes told delegates he had seen evidence of banks routinely making "racist" lending decisions. "They will say yes to a well established, white individual... but somebody with a better financial reputation, who comes from a minority community or is a black businessman, gets turned down," he said.

     
  100.  
    1603:
    Lib Dem delegates The scene in the conference hall as delegates discuss fair pay
     
  101.  
    1608:

    Sunny Hundal, editor of the Liberal Conspiracy website, tweets: I need to get around to writing about the stupidity of Lib Dems mocking 'pre-distribution' when they've advocated for it in the past.

     
  102.  
    1619:

    To applause in the conference hall, Lib Dem delegates overwhelmingly back a motion on fair pay, which urges the government to "rule out any further expansion of regional or local pay"

     
  103.  
    1624:

    Conference has moved to the next item on the agenda - the annual reports on the parliamentary parties of the Liberal Democrats. First up it's the party's chief whip, Alistair Carmichael, speaking on behalf of the party in the Commons.

     
  104.  
    1633:

    At 5.05pm, delegates are due to consider the "secret courts" proposals within the coalition's Justice and Security Bill. Controversy over this part of the legislation has been rumbling on for months, with one lawyer warning that it could create a "statutory straitjacket" for judges. The BBC's Dominic Casciani blogged about the bill in May.

     
  105.  
    1636:

    According to reports in the Guardian, Lib Dem conference organisers rejected a request from civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabarti to address delegates on the subject of secret courts. She has previously described the Justice and Security Bill as "shameful, self-serving, spook-authored".

     
  106.  
    1636:

    Away from conference, Nick Clegg has surged up to 65 in the official mid-week singles chart. The spoof "I'm sorry" song - where Mr Clegg appears to sing an apology about his party's tuition fees U-turn - was released last week, with the deputy PM's blessing. It is predicted the song may reach the official top 40, as used by BBC Radio 1, on Sunday.

     
  107.  
    1659:

    All three parliamentary party reports - covering the Commons, Lords and the European Parliament - have been passed by Lib Dem delegates. Conference is now moving on to its final session of the day, debating a motion on the Justice and Security Bill.

     
  108.  
    1701:

    Opening the debate, delegate Jo Shaw explains that the motion is a "rejection of secret courts in civil claims".

     
  109.  
    1704:

    Had the proposals already been in place, Ms Shaw argues, the families of people who died in the Hillsborough stadium disaster or victims of friendly fire in Afghanistan, or victims of torture or extraordinary rendition would have found it harder to "expose the truth through a civil case".

     
  110.  
    1706:

    "Since when do secret hearings increase accountability?" Jo Shaw asks, and dismisses the Justice and Security Bill as a "bad bill".

     
  111.  
    1708:

    "How can we, who stand for openness, vote for a closed court which shuts out press and public scrutiny?" she asks.

     
  112.  
    1709:

    "We cannot claim to be liberals or democrats and also support secret courts," she protests, prompting applause to erupt around the hall.

     
  113.  
    1716:

    "This whole argument has been distorted by a litany of misinformation," Lord Marks complains, urging delegates to back his amendment to allow the secret courts proposals to stand, but ensure they "can only be used as a last resort in cases that would otherwise be incapable of being tried".

     
  114.  
    1722:

    "Secret justice is no justice," Islington delegate Greg Foxsmith declares. "Vote for the motion unamended," he urges.

     
  115.  
    1727:

    Meanwhile, Lord Sugar has responded to Nick Clegg's decision to use him as an example of an undeserving free-bus-pass recipient: The twit Nick Clegg moaning about me having a bus pass. Idiot I haven't got one.

     
  116.  
    1727:

    Labour peer Lord Sugar adds: Even if I did have a bus pass. I've personally paid £10'sM tax, my companies 100's of millions in the past 45 years. What has Clegg done

     
  117.  
    1733:

    PoliticsHome.com editor Paul Waugh tweets: Just bought 'I'm a Pleb' badge from LibDem stall. Last one, and price rocketed from 25p this am to £1 now #inflationbustingpricehike

     
  118.  
    1747:

    Back to the secret courts debate. "There are some myths that need debunking," the Advocate General for Scotland, Lord Wallace of Tankerness, claims. "Firstly, they say it will allow the security services to cover up embarrassing material. In fact, some material will be brought into judicial decisions that is not there at the moment."

     
  119.  
    1754:
    Julian Huppert Julian Huppert MP address delegates on civil liberties
     
  120.  
    1758:

    "It's uncomfortable to disagree with the leader on this one," Lib Dem MEP Sarah Ludford confides, winding up the debate. But the Lib Dems' "core values are at stake on this bill". The secret court proposals smack of "dictatorship", she argues. But open justice is a principle we should "die in the ditch for". With this in mind she has a message for Mr Clegg: "Jump into the ditch, Nick."

     
  121.  
    1759:

    "The bill is flawed beyond repair," she concludes, before delegates cheer as they deliver a heavy defeat to the party leadership. The secret courts proposals should be stripped from the legislation, delegates have decided.

     
  122.  
    1802:

    So that wraps up today's live coverage of the Lib Dem conference in Brighton. Delegates will be back tomorrow morning at 9am for the last day of conference, which includes Nick Clegg's closing speech to the party faithful at just after 2.30pm.

     

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