As it happened: Tuesday at the Labour Party conference 2012

Key points

  • Labour leader Ed Miliband has pledged to make Britain "one nation" and unveiled plans to help the "forgotten" 50% of youngsters
  • Dame Tessa Jowell led a session on the triumph of Team GB at the London Olympics, with a warm welcome for Tory peer and Locog chair Seb Coe
  • Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Rachel Reeves has led a panel discussion on the campaign for a living wage

Live text


  • Ed Lowther 
  • Pippa Simm 
  • Sean Clare 

Last updated 2 October 2012


Welcome to our live coverage of Tuesday's action at the Labour conference, as delegates await the centrepiece of the week: the leader's speech. Ed Miliband reportedly plans to boost his profile by talking about how his background has sculpted his values.


Mr Miliband is also expected to unveil proposals for a new qualification for 18-year-olds - the "technical baccalaureate" - and reform apprenticeships by giving businesses more control over them. His speech is due to kick off at about 2.15pm.


But before that, a session entitled "better together": Labour's tagline for tackling the SNP and its plan for an independent Scotland. Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman will spearhead the debate from about 10.15am, before speeches from shadow Welsh secretary Owen Smith, shadow Scottish secretary Margaret Curran, and Labour's leader in Scotland Johann Lamont.


Dame Tessa Jowell, credited with conceiving the idea to bid for the 2012 Olympics, has earned a primetime slot devoted to hailing the many triumphs of Team GB and NI, beginning at 10.45am.


But first of all, a panel discussion on the campaign for a living wage, chaired by shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Rachel Reeves.


And we're off - to a faltering start. Labour's charismatic executive committee chairman Michael Cashman invites the first speaker of the day to "prevent", rather than present, a report to conference. "Now there's a Freudian slip!" he chortled. "Obviously my brain had an idea but my tongue rejected it."


From the BBC's Kayte Rath, in Manchester: Late last night the conference hall was resounding to the sound of Chariots of Fire and much whooping and cheering as people practiced enthusiastically for this morning's "Team Great Britain" session with Tessa Jowell.

TWEET 0952

Ukip leader Nigel Farage tweets: Ed Miliband's speech today: I can hardly wait. Am glued to my seat already.


Ms Reeves hails the living wage campaign as "the kind of change we want to see and the kind of difference we can make to people's lives". Labour ended the "disgrace of people being paid less than a minimum wage", as soon as it could after it came to power in 1997. This lifted two million peple, most of them women, out of poverty wages, she says.


A string of local authorities around the country have recently decided to start paying their staff the living wage, she announces.