As it happened: Wednesday at the Conservative Party conference

Key points

  • David Cameron promises to turn the UK into a "land of opportunity" in his keynote speech closing the Conservative conference
  • The PM claims the UK economy is "turning the corner", and contrasts his party with "the 1970s-style socialism" he says Labour now offers
  • He reveals that cutting benefits for anyone under the age of 25 who is not "earning or learning" is being considered for the 2015 manifesto

Live text


  • Aiden James 
  • Ed Lowther 
  • Bernadette McCague 

Last updated 2 October 2013


This is not quite the end of this year's conference season: Plaid Cymru meet in Aberystwyth on 11 and 12 October, while the SNP get together in Perth from 17 to 20 October. As always, the BBC will be there. But for now, goodbye and thanks for joining us.


There's plenty of analysis from the BBC to catch up on, including Nick Robinson's analysis of the prime minister's choice of words, and dozens of features and analysis pieces from across the conference season in this special report.


And with that, we'll draw our coverage of this year's Conservative Party conference to a close. In his keynote speech, David Cameron promised to create a "land of opportunity for all" and attacked what he called Labour's "1970s-style socialism". He declared: "The land of hope is Tory."


Danny Finkelstein of The Times

tells the BBC: "I know what a bad conference looks like but this certainly isn't one". He jokes that he had seen some "pretty disastrous conferences" when he worked for the Conservatives. He said David Cameron and the party are showing "strategic discipline" even if that "isn't always going to excite people as much".


James Kirkup, Telegraph political editor,

offers a pretty lukewarm verdict on the PM's oration: "David Cameron has given better speeches than this one. Quite a few, in fact." He wonders: "Maybe he was tired: there were some uncharacteristic shadows under his eyes as he spoke."


Education Secretary Michael Gove explains: "It is always going to be the case that there are some people for whom you need not so much a nudge as a dunt towards the workplace. It's important also that we all recognise that welfare is there explicitly to help those people through hard times, that it shouldn't become habituated." He was speaking on BBC Radio 4's World at One.


Nick Robinson, Political editor

says one new policy was mooted in David Cameron's speech: the possibility of cutting benefits for anyone under the age of 25 who is not in a job, education or training. He reports: "Tory sources say that the idea is being examined by the party's policy chief Jo Johnson for inclusion in their election manifesto and by the Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, who is reviewing provision for those aged 16 to 24."


Nick Robinson, Political editor

has totted up the frequency with which David Cameron deployed certain words and phrases in his speech: "Labour was mentioned 25 times whereas the Lib Dems just twice, the Coalition once, Nick Clegg, UKIP and Nigel Farage not at all."