As it happened: Monday at the Labour Party conference 2012

Key Points

  • Shadow chancellor Ed Balls called for windfall from 4G mobile phone spectrum sell-off to be spent on building 100,000 new homes
  • Unite trade union leader Len McCluskey told delegates that any freeze in public sector pay was unacceptable
  • Comedian Eddie Izzard opened a debate on "sustainable communities" featuring Labour frontbenchers Liam Byrne and Caroline Flint
  1.  
    0929:

    Hello and welcome to live coverage of Monday at the Labour Party conference. Topping today's billing is shadow chancellor Ed Balls, who is expected to speak at 12.10pm.

     
  2.  
    0933:

    This morning, delegates are expecting a speech from Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones, and a debate on "Britain in the world" featuring shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy, shadow international development secretary Ivan Lewis and shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander.

     
  3.  
    0937:

    After lunch, there's debate on "sustainable communities", with shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne and shadow climate change secretary Caroline Flint expected to take part.

     
  4.  
    0950:

    BBC political correspondent Norman Smith tweets: John Reid tells me that Gordon Brown twice asked him to serve in his Govt but the old bruiser was not for turning

     
  5.  
    0952:

    Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones is addressing conference. He tells delegates that a £15bn investment plan for the next decade will help build new schools, roads and hospitals showing the Welsh Labour government's commitment to "investing in our future" even in "difficult" times.

     
  6.  
    0954:

    The BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Manchester: Watch out Ant and Dec, Stella Creasey has you in her sights. The shadow minister for crime prevention is running a Twitter campaign against Wonga, the pay-day loan company that sponsors the Geordie jokers' Saturday night game show Red or Black. "You probably haven't seen the programme, it hasn't had great viewing figures," she joked at a Movement for Change fringe meeting on Sunday night.

     
  7.  
    0957:

    Brian Wheeler adds: She wants to put pressure on media owners not to run ads from such companies, which she claims are exploiting the poor, until the government introduces tougher regulation. She is calling for ideas about for the next stage of the campaign using the Twitter hashtags #sharkstoppers and #getorganised.

     
  8.  
    0957:

    The first minister defends the decision of the Labour government in Wales to intervene in the GCSE marking row and order a regrade of some papers in Wales. "We want to look those young people in the eye and say we've done right be you," he said, adding that it's a shame England didn't do the same.

     
  9.  
    0958:

    The leader of Labour's MEPs, Glenis Willmott, attempts a joke at the top her speech, telling delegates last night's Ryder Cup victory shows we should never "write Europe off".

     
  10.  
    1000:

    The BBC's Kayte Rath, in Manchester: There was some kerfuffle in the hall at the start of today's session as the usually routine vote to pass the daily report from the conference committee was taken. Chair Harriet Yeo said the vote was carried after a show of hands, but some delegates who wanted to vote against it shouted out loudly in protest. Ms Yeo insisted they must not "waste conference time" and pushed on.

     
  11.  
    1003:

    Housing charity Shelter tweets: Interesting proposals from Ed Balls at #lab12 to use 4G sell-off cash to build homes http://shltr.org.uk/2yl - our response up shortly.

     
  12.  
    1005:

    The BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Manchester: David Miliband has been on his best behaviour at fringe meetings, telling last night's Progress rally he was "utterly focused on getting Ed into Downing Street". But he almost put his foot in it at another event. "I have seen the leaders of tomorrow," declared the elder Miliband brother after listening to speeches by grassroots community organisers. "Some of them are young. And some of them are not young. And you can be a leader for tomorrow, er… I'd better be careful where this goes actually. You can be a leader in your community, whatever age you are." Phew.

     
  13.  
    1007:

    The BBC's Kayte Rath, in Manchester, adds: Progress, the New Labour pressure group, has faced attempts by the unions to "outlaw" it from the party from those who think it's too influential. But shadow cabinet ministers and other former minister queued up to praise the group. David Miliband said he was "proud" to be there and said there was "no monopoly on wisdom".

     
  14.  
    1009:

    The BBC's Kayte Rath, in Manchester: Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander used the Progress rally to have a little dig at those, like union leaders and the left wing group Compass, who say that to win Labour needs to get back the 5 million voters it has lost since 1997 through New Labour policies.

     
  15.  
    1009:

    Kayte Rath adds: Mr Alexander said he'd like to "respectfully suggest" that New Labour found those 5 million voters in the first place and Labour "cannot and should not base an electoral strategy on 5 million voters - when 1.5m of them are dead".

     
  16.  
    1010:

    The BBC's Welsh parliamentary correspondent David Cornock tweets from the conference: @fmwales gets brief standing ovation for 10-minute speech - 11 exclamation marks in written version!

     
  17.  
    1010:

    Back in the main conference hall, National Executive Committee member Ellie Reeves accuses David Cameron of "running away" from a pledge to increase international aid spending by 0.7%. The "retreat" shows his efforts to "reinvent" the Conservative Party is a "scam", she claims.

     
  18.  
    1015:

    Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy has taken to the stage. He says it's been a "really tough year" for the UK in Afghanistan. He criticises the government's treatment of the armed forces.

     
  19.  
    1017:
    Ed Balls Shadow chancellor Ed Balls scored twice as the Labour Party defeated the press yesterday by 3-0.
     
  20.  
    1021:

    Match summary from the FA: Balls put Burnham through for the first goal midway through first half before Perkins saved a penalty for Labour. Second half saw the MPs take control with a McClymont defence-splitting pass leaving Balls one on one with the keeper to notch the 2nd before Balls won and converted a penalty for the final score of 3-0.

     
  21.  
    1021:

    "Labour MPs win back the National Grid Challenge Cup from the Press Lobby," the FA adds. "Kiran Stacey of the FT named Man of the Match for the Lobby and Steve Rotheram MP for Labour."

     
  22.  
    1024:

    Back in the conference hall, the shadow defence secretary admits a future Labour government would have to make savings in defence. He pledges that the Ministry of Defence budget would be subject to an "independent, expert, external review of all decisions we take".

     
  23.  
    1025:

    In a swipe at the Scottish National Party - which is campaigning for Scottish independence ahead of a referendum on the matter in 2014 - Mr Murphy says the idea of breaking up the UK is a "19th-century" idea, "ill-suited" to the complexity of today's world.

     
  24.  
    1025:
    Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones Ed Miliband was in the hall to hear Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones's speech
     
  25.  
    1023:

    BBC political correspondent Norman Smith tweets: John Reid says Ed M needs to give country "a sense of narrative... a sense there is a way out of decline"

     
  26.  
    1033:

    The BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Manchester: David Milband also added his voice to Stella Creasy's legal loan-sharking campaign, saying he found it "totally shocking" that firms were demanding four-figure interest rates from people struggling to make ends meet. Perhaps Mr Milband, who among other things is chairman of Sunderland football club, will have a quiet word with his counterparts at Blackpool and Hearts, who have come under fire from Ms Creasy's campaign over accepting sponsorship from loan firm Wonga.

     
  27.  
    1037:

    The BBC's Kayte Rath, in Manchester: Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna continued his frenetic way around the fringe last night by hot-footing it over from the Compass rally, the left wing group he was heavily involved with before he became an MP, arriving damp and breathless at the Progress rally. Confessing he was a "Progress virgin" he explained he was there because "we all want to win".

     
  28.  
    1037:

    Councillor Claire Francise criticises cuts to the defence budget, accusing the coalition of taking "more money out of the north than the south".

     
  29.  
    1046:

    Labour activists, conference delegates and senior politicians are deep in a heated debate over the future of the party. You can hear it all on Radio Five Live.

     
  30.  
    1046:

    Radio Five Live's political reporter Matt Cole tweets from the debate: Audience members attack Labour for giving Sir Fred Goodwin a knighthood - Sadiq Khan admits Labour "in awe of banks"

     
  31.  
    1047:

    Back in the hall, Jayne Brencher, from Pontypridd, gets a clap from delegates for declaring that she lives in a "socialist country".

     
  32.  
    1055:

    Shadow international development secretary Ivan Lewis is winding up the debate, reiterating calls on the government to enshrine in legislation a commitment to spending 0.7% of gross national income on aid.

     
  33.  
    1059:

    "Social justice and human rights are the very reason for our existence. They're why we are Labour," Mr Lewis adds.

     
  34.  
    1104:
    Glenys Kinnock Mr Lewis warmly paid tribute to Baroness Kinnock, who is leaving the Labour frontbench.
     
  35.  
    1108:

    Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander is addressing conference. He's gone jacketless, but is sticking true to his party colours with a bright red tie.

     
  36.  
    1113:
    Ed Miliband cufflinks Entrepreneurs at the conference hope to capitalise on Labour's love for its leader with cufflinks.
     
  37.  
    1113:

    Journalist and former Conservative MP Matthew Parris tells the BBC's Daily Politics the mood in Manchester is "muted and subdued". He insists there's no mood for rebellion - a contrast to last year when he says there was "murmuring" against party leader Ed Miliband. Watch it live on iPlayer.

     
  38.  
    1115:

    Mr Alexander claims David Cameron hasn't made a speech on Afghanistan in the House of Commons for 14 months, which is "shameful." His message to the prime minister: "Break your silence on Afghanistan."

     
  39.  
    1120:

    Patrick O'Flynn, from the Daily Express, tweets: What a load of waffle from Douglas Alexander. No policy on the EU whatever. Embarrassing.

     
  40.  
    1122:

    The shadow foreign secretary says Labour will work "tirelessly" for peace in the Middle East. He accuses the Conservatives of being "out of touch at home and out of their depth abroad".

     
  41.  
    1126:

    The BBC's Ross Hawkins, in Manchester: Political philosopher Michael Sandel has told the Labour conference that the market economy had drifted into areas of life previously untouched by market values. In an unusual conference session, the Harvard professor of government said: "Almost without realising we have drifted from having market economies to becoming market societies."

     
  42.  
    1127:

    Ross Hawkins adds: People had shrunk from a "morally engaged public discourse" Prof Sandel said, asking: "Do we want a society where everything is up for sale or are there certain moral and civic goods markets do not honour and money cannot buy?" He said a debate about the moral limits of markets would "invigorate politics by welcoming competing notions of the good life into the public square".

     
  43.  
    1127:

    Dan Hodges, who used to work for Labour and now writes for the Telegraph, says Ed Miliband's problems are to do with substance, not style. He says voters know enough about the Labour leader but don't like what they see. He's telling the BBC's Andrew Neil that people want a leader who'll take "hard, difficult decisions" and Ed Miliband hasn't been prepared to take them. Watch the debate live on iPlayer.

     
  44.  
    1128:

    Back in the conference hall, Unite trade union leader Len McCluskey tells the Labour shadow cabinet it needs to "come out of the shadows, to be heard louder and clearer... and to fight harder".

     
  45.  
    1128:

    It's time to turn the banking sector into part of the solution, not the "core of problem", Mr McCluskey says, calling for a "people's bank" to invest in housing and green industries.

     
  46.  
    1129:

    He sends a message to Labour leader Ed Miliband that any freeze in public sector pay is "simply not acceptable".

     
  47.  
    1132:

    ITV's Chris Ship tweets: No false choices of "jobs or wages", says Len McCluskey in his row with Ed Balls over his support for the govt's public sector pay freeze... More applause for Unite's Len McCluskey when he calls for rejection of "neo-Liberalism" of the Blair & Brown years #lab12

     
  48.  
    1134:

    A rare note of agreement between Duncan Weldon, who's a TUC economist, and Graeme Leach of the Institute of Directors. Both say the economy is the key general election battleground. Duncan Weldon insists Ed Miliband's "responsible capitalism agenda is resonating with people". This was the theme of the Labour leader's conference speech last year. And Graeme Leach is adamant the economy will decide the next election. Both are in the Daily Politics studio today.

     
  49.  
    1137:

    The BBC's Norman Smith tweets: Biggest applause of #lab12 so far as Unite leader Len McCluskey warns a public sector spending squeeze under Labour is not acceptable

     
  50.  

    The Guardian's political editor Patrick Wintour tweets: ‏Len McLuskey warns "public spending squeeze while City continues to let rip is simply not acceptable". Road to political ruin, he says.

     
  51.  
    1141:

    The Unite leader attacks the previous Labour government for putting "too much faith" in the City of London, which "worsened" inequality. He accuses the coalition of operating a "class war" and leading the country on "a path to poverty".

     
  52.  
    1144:

    Mr McCluskey says the Labour Party must give "hope" to people in the country who are struggling, and urges it to be "bold" and "determined".

     
  53.  
    1151:

    Paul Waugh, the editor of the Politics Home website, tweets: Who says old school Labour conference tactics are dead? New 'composited' Unite motion has been nobbled to defuse criticism of Balls pay freeze.

     
  54.  
    1154:

    BBC 5live political reporter Matt Cole, in Manchester: Billy Hayes, the leader of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), tells 5live audience debate: "Ed Miliband has listened to unions - but I don't agree with what he is saying about pay. But he is picking up things unions are saying about growth."

     
  55.  
    1158:

    Matt Cole adds: Shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan has told BBC 5 Live's audience debate that Labour "was in awe of the banks, even near the end" of its time in office. He said: "We didn't do enough. We should have done more." Senior Labour MP John Denham also told the audience the party would repeal the Health Act if re-elected in 2015.

     
  56.  
    1158:

    The BBC's Kayte Rath, in Manchester: Polite applause as Chuka Umunna starts his first conference speech as shadow business secretary but no ripple of excitement amongst delegates for this tipped future leader.

     
  57.  
    1159:

    Back to the Daily Politics, shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy tells Andrew Neil that there will "have to be a referendum" on Britain's relationship with Europe. He says it should be an "in or out" choice and should be held when the financial crisis is over. He won't put a date on it though.

     
  58.  
    1201:

    Chuka Umunna, the shadow business secretary, says 50 businesses a day are going bust under the coalition, so it's little wonder that unemployment has "soared". "That is the human price of their failed experiment," he says, laying the blame squarely at David Cameron, George Osborne, Nick Clegg and Vince Cable's doors.

     
  59.  
    1201:

    "We must rebuild Britain," Mr Umunna says, calling for more investment in British businesses.

     
  60.  
    1202:

    The BBC's Kayte Rath, in Manchester: Delegates have been waving all manner of things to catch the eye of the chair this morning: booklets, multi-coloured scarves, umbrellas and even a Labour red flag.

     
  61.  
    1205:

    The conference hall is starting to pack out ahead of Ed Balls's speech, due at 12.20pm.

     
  62.  
    1205:

    In the meantime, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Rachel Reeves is chairing a discussion on supporting small businesses.

     
  63.  
    1206:

    Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy MP tells the BBC that his party has identified "billions of pounds worth of savings" in the defence budget. He refuses to put a percentage on it but lists cutting army top brass, bringing troops back from Germany and freezing some allowances as cost-savings.

     
  64.  
    1211:

    In the Daily Politics studio in central London, the Institute of Directors' head of policy Graeme Leach says any windfall from the sale of the 4G spectrum would be better spent on infrastructure - not housing. Labour's Ed Balls is expected to say in his imminent speech that the money should be used to build affordable homes.

     
  65.  
    1215:
    Labour frontbenchers Members of Labour's top team visit a building site in Manchester.
     
  66.  
    1215:

    Labour's Lord Adonis, a former transport secretary, sharply criticises the "incompetent" department for business, innovation and skills (Bis). "If Bis had been in charge of the Olympics this year, we'd still be planning for 1948."

     
  67.  
    1219:

    It's time for shadow chancellor Ed Balls's keynote speech to conference . He tells delegates, to applause: "Let us show we are the people to rebuild Britain strong and fair for the future."

     
  68.  
    1219:

    Mr Balls pays tribute to "our future prime minister", Ed Miliband, who is on the main stage, alongside deputy leader Harriet Harman.

     
  69.  
    1222:

    Some Tory-bashing from Ed Balls to please the crowd - with David Cameron and George Osborne taking most of the flak. Lots of laughter and applause as the shadow chancellor mocks Cameron's claim that Ed Miliband is insufficiently "butch".

     
  70.  
    1227:

    The Guardian's Michael White tweets: Good (but macho) Ed Balls conference joke. "If Cameron is butch, where does that leave George Osborne?"

     
  71.  
    1230:

    Mr Balls pays tribute to Dame Tessa Jowell for her role in securing the London 2012 Olympic Games. "It was Tessa's officials who told her it would be a disaster to bid for the 2012 Games... Tessa could have listened to all those concerns, but she didn't. She persevered." The Games was a short-term shot in the arm, he adds, but no substitute for a long-term strategy to put the economy back on track.

     
  72.  
    1233:

    ITV's Tom Bradby tweets: There is no doubt Balls is one of Labour's most substantial figures. But maybe that's a problem; the public just doesn't seem to like him.

     
  73.  
    1233:

    Labour was right that cutting too far and too fast would choke off the economic recovery, the shadow chancellor declares. If the economy is not growing you can't get the deficit down, he says. Urgent action is needed to kickstart the economy, Mr Balls adds, reiterating Labour's five point plan, which includes a tax on bankers' bonuses.

     
  74.  
    1236:

    The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson tweets from the hall: Ed Balls - once terrified of big Conference speech, now v comfortable. Told he rehearsed standing behind hotel ironing board.

     
  75.  
    1236:

    Big applause for Ed Balls as he proposes spending the money from the sale of the 4G mobile spectrum - estimated at £3bn-£4bn - to build over 100,000 new "affordable" homes. He also calls for a stamp duty holiday for first time buyers purchasing homes up to £250,000, to kick-start the economy.

     
  76.  
    1238:

    Back to that Radio Five Live debate and the BBC's Chris Mason tweets: Unite's Steve Turner tells @vicderbyshire @bbc5live Labour supporting public sector pay freeze "absolute disgrace"

     
  77.  
    1239:

    Mr Balls pledges that a future Labour government would carry out a "zero-based spending review" to look at what the government can and can't afford.

     
  78.  
    1239:
    Tessa Jowell MP Dame Tessa Jowell reacts to applause from the crowd for her work on the Olympics.
     
  79.  
    1240:

    "Every penny" of proceeds from selling off the government's stake in the banking sector will be used to pay down the national debt, Mr Balls says.

     
  80.  
    1242:

    The shadow chancellor says successive governments, including Labour, have "ducked or delayed" vital decisions on national infrastructure, "allowing short-term politics to come first". We have to be the party to break that cycle, he urges, otherwise future generations will suffer.

     
  81.  
    1242:

    Tim Montgomerie, a Conservative commentator and editor of the influential activists' website Conservative Home, tweets: Surprised @EdBallsMP is attacking Nick Clegg so personally. If he survives as LD leader (albeit unlikely) makes Lib/Lab pact harder

     
  82.  
    1243:

    He cites the implementation of "superfast" broadband and the development of renewable energy as key examples of decisions that must be taken. "If we don't start to plan now, what will we say in 30 years' time when our children ask, 'why didn't you act in time?'"

     
  83.  
    1245:

    He announces that Sir John Armitt, the chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority, has agreed to conduct an independent review into the long-term infrastructure needs of the country.

     
  84.  
    1247:

    Another big round of applause after Ed Balls praises the work of the NHS.

     
  85.  
    1248:

    Labour backbencher Austin Mitchell tweets: Putting the 4G windfall into "affordable" homes which never are is sheer waste. We need public housing for rent

     
  86.  
    1250:

    More conference coverage, analysis and reaction on Radio Four's World at One programme in about 10 minutes. Fraser Nelson, who edits the traditionally conservative Spectator, Labour's Chuka Umunna and the GMB union's general secretary Paul Kenny are among the guests. You can listen live on the BBC's online radio player.

     
  87.  
    1250:

    Balls turns his fire on the government once more, attacking the coalition's record in office.

     
  88.  
    1255:

    Labour must give young people hope and rebuild Britain for the future, Ed Balls intones. Building up to a crescendo, he finishes with a flourish: "That is our challenge. That is our mission. Let us rise to it together."

     
  89.  
    1256:

    The hall rises to its feet to applaud the shadow chancellor. The chair, Harriet Yeo, tells him: "You've outdone yourself." It's one of the best speeches she's heard in a "very long time".

     
  90.  
    1302:

    Conservative MP Sajid Javid is being grilled by Andrew Neil in the BBC Daily Politics studio. He's dismissed Ed Balls' big conference speech announcement on affordable housing, saying it "won't make any difference". Mr Javid is insisting the deficit is down from £156bn to £119bn since the coalition was formed.

     
  91.  
    1302:
    Ed Balls MP The shadow chancellor received a standing ovation for his keynote conference speech
     
  92.  
    1303:

    The BBC's Kayte Rath, in Manchester: Both Margaret Hodge MP and Tom Watson MP are harangued on their way into the secure conference zone, as they run the gauntlet of leafleters and charities pushing their fringe events.

     
  93.  
    1306:

    The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson tweets: Ed Balls praises postwar government for building new Britain and making "tough and unpopular" decisions e.g. introducing prescription charges. Intriguing.

     
  94.  
    1310:

    The BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Manchester: Len McCluskey is 40 minutes late for his own Unite fringe meeting. He is apparently being "mugged by the press" after Ed Balls's speech and will be here soon.

     
  95.  
    1314:

    Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB trade union, tells the BBC it's not enough for Labour to offer "more of the same" on public spending. "It's no good saying jobs or pay - people haven't had either", he says. Mr Kenny reckons Ed Miliband has "brought a breath of fresh air" to the party - members are no longer jumped on "from a great height" for having a different opinion. He's been speaking to BBC Radio 4's World at One Programme. Listen on the BBC's online radio player.

     
  96.  
    1317:

    Mr Kenny says he offered Ed Balls a bottle of headache pills this morning after earlier saying the shadow chancellor would "give asprin a headache". He says politicians should relax more.

     
  97.  
    1319:

    The BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Manchester: Big cheers as Len McCluskey finally makes it to the Unite fringe. Still no sign of shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna (presumably he's been delayed by his World at One appearance).

     
  98.  
    1320:

    Labour's shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna laughs off speculation about his future leadership prospects during his appearance on BBC Radio 4's The World at One. "I've only been an MP for two years," he says. Listen to the rest of the programme on the BBC's online radio player.

     
  99.  
    1324:

    The BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Manchester: This recession is far worse than the 1980s or the 1930s and the true number of people looking for full time work is 6 million, author and campaigner Owen Smith tells the Unite fringe.

     
  100.  
    1325:

    BBC news channel political correspondent Norman Smith tweets: John Longworth from British Chambers of Commerce says Labour not yet demonstrated engaged with the business community.

     
  101.  
    1328:

    The Daily Politics' Adam Fleming, in Manchester: The deputy manager of the conference bookshop tells me Jack Straw's autobiography is their best-seller. Although he admitted that's only because they've sold out of JK Rowling's new one...

     
  102.  
    1331:

    Following the lively debate she hosted earlier today, BBC Radio 5Live's Victoria Derbyshire tweets: Labour confirmed they will repeal the Government's health reforms if elected in 2015 http://boo.fm/b985205

     
  103.  
    1334:

    Just a reminder that the live action on the conference platform resumes at about 2.15pm.

     
  104.  
    1336:

    The BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Manchester: There are plenty of interesting fringe meetings taking place at the moment. Here at the Unite one, there is big support for building more council houses.

     
  105.  
    1340:

    The BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Manchester: Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna tells the Unite fringe "our unions are wealth creators". He vows to vote against the government's Enterprise Bill if coalition ministers do not scrap tougher rules on unfair dismissal and plans to water down equality laws "by stealth".

     
  106.  
    1342:

    The BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Manchester: There's been a bit of tension with certain union leaders, but Chuka Umunna tells the Unite fringe that despite disagreements with unions "we're all working towards the same goal".

     
  107.  
    1345:

    The BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Manchester: New Labour bought into the media line that trade unions are "evil" - "the nutty relative in the attic who pushed cheques under the door", says Len McCluskey at the Unite fringe meeting.

     
  108.  
    1346:

    BBC political correspondent Gary O'Donoghue is at a fringe with Labour's shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne in Manchester. He tweets: Byrne says Labour has to "drag" social security into the 21st century

     
  109.  
    1349:

    The BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Manchester: Len M pretends to spit when he mentions "Thatcher". The Unite crowd loves that. Chuka is smiling too. Mr M then offers to have a word with The Sun reporter at the back of the room about Hillsborough. That gets an even bigger cheer.

     
  110.  
    1352:

    The BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Manchester: Len M says public sector pay freeze doesn't make economic sense. But he praises Ed Balls' speech as "very, very good".

     
  111.  
    1357:

    How has Ed Balls' big speech been received by the national press? The Guardian focuses on the shadow chancellor's admission that he "cannot promise to reverse spending cuts".

     
  112.  
    1404:
    Ed Balls MP A pat on the back from the party leader following Ed Balls's speech to conference earlier
     
  113.  
    1404:

    Over at the Telegraph, online political editor Rosa Prince reports that Mr Balls earlier accused the government of "failing to have a credible plan to fix the economy". The Times (subscription needed) focuses on the shadow chancellor's attack on the coalition, headlining with "Balls: divided and bickering Coalition puts Britain at risk".

     
  114.  
    1411:

    Meanwhile, the Express reckons Ed Balls' speech will "instigate concern among those with pensions and working in the private sector". Their headline goes further, claiming that pensions will "pay for Ed Balls's big plan".

     
  115.  
    1416:

    The BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Manchester: Unite members are angry that Labour leaders seem embarrassed by them. "They take our money, why don't they stand up for us," says a delegate from Yorkshire, to cheers.

     
  116.  
    1419:

    The Independent is less incendiary than the Express. It has focused on Labour's plan to recruit John Armitt - the man who oversaw the London Olympics. And they've got a video of Ed Balls' victorious performance in the annual MPs vs journalists football match.

     
  117.  
    1423:

    Conference is back up and running after a short break for lunch. Delegates are turning their attention to debates on the economy, jobs and living standards. Coming up are speeches from work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne, shadow energy and climate change Caroline Flint, shadow environment secretary Mary Creagh and shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle.

     
  118.  
    1425:

    The BBC's Norman Smith tweets: CBI boss John Cridland says he backs Ed Balls' call to spend 4G cash on housing

     
  119.  
    1429:

    Paul Kenny, leader of the GMB union, says Labour must address the "balance of power" and "corruption" that has "become the world of work for so many" in the UK. Employment rights must not be tucked away but feature prominently in the party's next election manifesto, he urges.

     
  120.  
    1433:
    NSPCC volunteers The NSPCC's army of volunteers outside the conference zone is trying to attach "Children's Party" stickers to passing pedestrians
     
  121.  
    1433:

    Continuing our look at how Ed Balls' speech has been received by the press pack: the Financial Times also focuses on Mr Armitt's appointment to work on Labour's infrastructure plans. Political correspondent Jim Pickard says ministers are likely to see the move as a "political shot across the bows" of the coalition.

     
  122.  
    1436:

    The motion for debate in the conference hall is about working people in the country, whether they are in a union or not, Mr Kenny explains. He criticises the previous government's record on employment rights legislation, saying the position in the UK by 2010 "was amongst the weakest in Europe and beyond". But the situation has got worse since the coalition came to power, he adds.

     
  123.  
    1439:
    The CND stall The CND conference stall has a board for people to write what they would spend the money on if Trident were scrapped.
     
  124.  
    1444:

    Striking is a basic human right, Paul Kenny tells conference. "Be proud that we support those basic human rights. Don't be embarrassed by them. How you treat people at work defines your values as a society and as a democracy and frankly as a party," he concludes.

     
  125.  
    1447:

    Our reporters on the ground, Brian Wheeler and Kayte Rath, have been asking Labour members whether they could stomach a coalition with their current political foes, the Liberal Democrats. "Their current leader can't be trusted," says one. "They are non-entities. Their policies were pie-in-the-sky," intones another. "At the next election Labour will have enough seats so we don't need to go into coalition," a third predicts.

     
  126.  
    1448:
    Paul Kenny A huge round of applause and cheers for GMB leader Paul Kenny
     
  127.  
    1450:

    BBC political correspondent Carole Walker, in Manchester: The former Labour cabinet minister and strategist Peter Mandelson has said the economic circumstances mean Ed Miliband will face a much harder challenge at the next election than Labour did when it won a landslide victory in 1997. Speaking at a fringe meeting at the party conference, Mr Mandelson said Labour tends to do well in times of economic growth and in 1987, 1978 and 2008 the party did not have credible answers to the economic problems.

     
  128.  
    1451:

    Carole Walker adds: Lord Mandelson said Ed Miliband would be leading the party at the next election when economic growth would be absent and the country in deficit. He said this was "a political opportunity but also a big political problem for Labour". He said the party needed to use creative thinking and apply its brains to find ways of improving people's lives without spending money on public services. Lord Mandelson said you could not use previous battle plans to fight the next election.

     
  129.  
    1451:

    Ed Balls has given a lengthy interview to online newspaper the Huffington Post. Part two, headlined, 'I've never been a bitch', has just gone live on their website. In it the shadow chancellor talks about his political heroes, his private school education and his family. He also denies he ever briefed against colleagues to journalists.

     
  130.  
    1456:

    Patrick O'Flynn, the chief political commentator at the Daily Express, tweets: The awkward fact is that these trade union dinosaurs are the best public speakers Labour has got.

     
  131.  
    1507:
    A delegate waves a flag A delegate flying the flag for his party
     
  132.  
    1508:

    Comedian Eddie Izzard brings a touch of celebrity to the Labour party conference, as he enters the stage to open a debate on "sustainable communities", focusing initially on jobs and living standards.

     
  133.  
    1513:

    Mr Izzard says "too many" households face the "stark reality" of having to choose between feeding their family or paying their bills.

    Eddie Izzard
     
  134.  
    1514:

    Conference is hearing from shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne - via video link from Manchester College.

     
  135.  
    1518:

    Labour activist Mike Robb tweets: Arms aching holding up papers to get called in debate. No luck but try again in communities debate. We need some Scottish voices. #lab12

     
  136.  
    1521:

    Caroline Flint, the shadow secretary of state for energy and climate change, is making her speech to conference, dressed in red. She tells delegates how to reduce bills by switching providers.

    Caroline Flint
     
  137.  
    1526:

    The BBC's Paul Twinn, in Manchester: David Miliband has told a fringe event that he is "not only in tune, but singing assiduously from the hymn sheet laid out by Ed".

     
  138.  
    1528:

    Paul Twinn adds: David Miliband said Labour has put itself in a position "to win the next election". He said: "They've [the leadership] really made sure that while the government look ragged, we look disciplined. Equally, they know and I know that we have a very big mountain to climb... It's a tall order."

     
  139.  
    1528:

    David Miliband was speaking at an event talking about tackling youth unemployment. Asked about his own employment, Mr Miliband said he had a job as MP for South Shields. "I think what I'm doing with Movement for Change is the new politics and I think that is where I can make a contribution at the moment."

     
  140.  
    1531:

    In the conference hall, Caroline Flint rubbishes the coalition's green credentials, blaming the Conservatives and Lib Dems in equal measure for the UK dropping to 7th in the world for investment in green growth.

     
  141.  
    1533:

    Delegates clap to welcome shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle onto the stage.

     
  142.  
    1537:

    One for the family album: shadow Commons leader Angela Eagle snaps her sister, shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle, delivering a speech at the podium.

    Angela Eagle
     
  143.  
    1544:

    The coalition government is "out of touch" with rising transport costs, Maria Eagle claims. Labour, she says, would cut VAT on fuel, put passengers before profit, and prioritise cycling.

     
  144.  
    1600:

    Daily Mirror deputy political editor James Lyons tweets: Delegate named Tristram Osborne tells #lab12 he has the "worst surname in Britain"....

     
  145.  
    1600:

    The BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Manchester: Dennis Skinner earlier cast a disdainful eye over the ranks of the broadcast media in their cavernous lair behind the main stage. He remembers a time when they were all NUJ members, he tells me, and the NUJ was a "powerful union". Not any more, says the Beast of Bolsover ruefully.

     
  146.  
    1606:

    Meanwhile, Ed Balls has been accused, by his own team-mates, of diving to win a penalty in yesterday's match between Labour and the press. One branded him the "new Tom Daley" after he was awarded his "questionable" penalty, but the shadow chancellor denied any wrongdoing. You can judge for yourselves...

     
  147.  
    1621:
    Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell Friends reunited: Lord Mandelson and Alastair Campbell attend a fringe event
     
  148.  
    1621:

    That's a wrap for today. Live coverage of the Labour Party conference in Manchester resumes at 9.30am tomorrow. In the meantime, all the latest conference news is available on the BBC's special report.

     

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