As-it-happened: Monday at Labour Party conference

Key points

  • Shadow chancellor Ed Balls delivered his speech, including a pledge to extend free childcare and questioning the value of HS2
  • Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander discussed the UK's future global role, saying it was better of remaining in the EU
  • Delegates also held discussions on work and welfare, Northern Ireland and the state of the economy

Live text


  • Charlotte Rose 
  • Justin Parkinson 
  • Kerry Alexandra 

Last updated 24 September 2013


Tomorrow's big event is leader Ed Miliband's speech. But before that there will be plenty of less high-profile goings-on. Proceedings will kick off with party business and reports from the National Executive and local government groups. There'll then be a debate on living standards and sustainability, which will hear from shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle and shadow environment secretary Caroline Flint. But that wraps up our coverage for today. Please join us again in the morning.


Here's a nice tale to round things off. Hettie Bower, a veteran's veteran, if ever there was, has been charming delegates. The 107-year-old activist wowed the audience at a fringe meeting with her calls to promote peace and understanding. Afterwards, she went to meet Ed Miliband, the 12th person to lead the party since she joined, aged 17. The first, by the way, was Ramsay Macdonald.

TWEET 1644

Ilknur Kahraman

tweets: Thank u to @lisanandy & @BenBradshawMP for smiling back upon eye contact. Such a rare experience @ party conferences. Made my day #lab13


The New Statesman says that by criticising HS2, Ed Balls has set himself against Labour peer Andrew Adonis, who supports the government's flagship scheme. Meanwhile in a surprise move, Fraser Nelson in the Spectator admits a "grudging admiration" for Ed Balls, when he described HS2 as Cameron's vanity project ... but he then goes on to attack him over his stance on free schools. Prospect magazine gives a less than flattering view of the language of the speech - but says the big announcement on free childcare will be a definite vote-winner.


Among the motions passed today was one pushing for an end to the cap on public sector pay rises. Labour's leadership has previously made clear it can't afford to raise the 1% cap - introduced by the coalition - as part of its commitment to match government spending if it wins the next election in 2015. But Unison leader Dave Prentis, who proposed the motion, said: "If this is a cost-of-living conference, then the pay freeze must end. No ifs, no buts, but a clear commitment to end the Tory pay freeze".


Conference passes all the motions of the day and will reconvene tomorrow at 09:30 BST.


Alan Buckle, the deputy chairman of KPMG International, urges businesses to go out and connect with local young people because they have "so much" to bring to a business, including technology skills and loyalty.


Sue Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, says the council is running an "early guarantee scheme" for apprenticeships, so that people can get a place on a course at the same as they would if they were attending university.

TWEET 1559

Paul Gleeson, leader of the Labour group on Boston Borough Council

tweets: Watching #Lab13 on the telly - so impressed by @LiamByrneMP's powerful speech rewound it and watched it again