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
  1.  
    1423:

    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.

     
  2.  
    1418:

    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.

     
  3.  
    1412:

    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."

     
  4.  
    1406: 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".

     
  5.  
    1404: 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."

     
  6.  
    Dan, Weybridge,

    emails: Having started my own business, worked hard, taken risks and now create wealth and employment, I totally agree with David Cameron. I like George Osborne's policy to make the long term unemployed work for their benefits. Hopefully, they will realise that working for a living is better than being a dogsbody for benefits.

     
  7.  
    Morris

    comments: It is perfectly well and good for a company to make a profit. This is healthy for business BUT it can only be healthy if the person cleaning the toilets does not have to claim benefits just to survive when the CEO/shareholders rake it in over and above excessive greed. Rebalance the pay scales between the skivvy and the CEO and you will nurture the right sort of relationship between the two & not greed.

     
  8.  
    1343:

    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.

     
  9.  
    1335: 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."

     
  10.  
    1328: 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."

     
  11.  
    1326: Chris Mason, BBC politcal correspondent

    says that David Cameron's speech showed a "clear change of tack" towards Labour. "Gone was the attack on Ed Miliband as weak, even useless. Instead, a suggestion that he wants to take Labour back to 1987 or even earlier," he adds, on BBC Radio 4's World at One programme.

     
  12.  
    Peter Leighton, Leeds

    emails: I'm not a Conservative but hoped our Prime Minister might have something new and invigorating to say about the country and the economy. I was disappointed. We need political leaders with vision not this popularist rhetoric. It is not enough to say what they are for, its how they are going to deliver it that matters. A very average, predictable and uninspiring speech.

     
  13.  
    RichDY

    comments: I never went to university and started stacking shelves back in good ol' Yorkshire. I worked my way up from there, earn a modest income and I'm better off today than I was under Labour. I agree with everything Cameron said, that's not easy for me to admit.

     
  14.  
    1312: The Telegraph's Mary Riddell

    says David Cameron "drifted back to Labour like a man fixated" during his conference speech. "The effect was a curious homage" to Ed Miliband, who had "over-shadowed this Tory conference", she writes. She also questions whether voters will "withstand seven more years of unremitting pain" of deficit reduction.

     
  15.  
    1311: The Guardian's Andrew Sparrow

    has gleaned "10 things" from the Conservative conference. Among them: "Compassionate Conservatism has been replaced with core Conservatism"; "Cameron has given up trying to attract support from a new cohort of voters"; and "Cameron has (temporarily) united his party over Europe". He also believes that London Mayor Boris Johnson has "suspended hostilities in his war of attrition against Cameron".

     
  16.  
    Garth Hill, Crowborough, East Sussex,

    emails: Honest, To the point and most importantly keeping the British people informed of what is current and what to expect in the future if we all pull together.

     
  17.  
    Nick Clube, Stevenage

    emails: As always what Cameron says is full of cleverly-judged and well-groomed sound bites but is missing in explanation or substance. It is just sad that his sound bite speeches still seem to fool so many. His recovery which he and the BBC keep banging on about has only brought us back to where we were when Labour left office. In other words his policies have been an abject failure. And I am about as conservative as you can get.

     
  18.  
    1256:

    Political sketch-writer Quentin Letts has given the BBC his own round-up of the week at the Conservative conference, which has seen gatecrashers such as UKIP's Nigel Farage, hecklers on the conference floor and some pretty lame jokes from politicians.

     
  19.  
    Paul

    comments: How simplistic trying to pitch socialism against capitalism - it's the balance that needs to be right. Another cheap political scoring soundbite with no substance.

     
  20.  
    Paul Waugh, editor of PoliticsHome.com

    tweets: Source says Tory MP Claire Perry was twerking on the dancefloor last night. Mebbe a new conf slogan?: 'For HardTwerking People'

     
  21.  
    Cornish Trebbs

    comments: I left school at 17 with nothing and there were not many people looking to employ a dyslexic lad! However I worked hard and now have my own business, my own house, and by employing staff give opportunities to other people. Any government who helps people create wealth has my vote.

     
  22.  
    Gary Partis

    comments: We have always been a land of opportunity. The problem is that we have too many lazy people who can not be bothered to better themselves.

     
  23.  
    Guido Fawkes

    tweets: Craig Oliver is briefing the Lobby that this speech is a prelude to the Tory manifesto that under 25s are either earning or learning.

     
  24.  
    Antony Little

    tweets: I am not @David_Cameron's biggest fan but that was an excellent, grown up, serious speech. Made Clegg and Miliband look like pigmies #cpc13

     
  25.  
    Joseph Robinson

    tweets: Truly 'small c' conservative speech from Cameron, in that it did not really offer any new ideas @BBC_HaveYourSay #cpc13

     
  26.  
    Samantha and David Cameron David Cameron departs the conference hall, accompanied by his wife, Samantha
     
  27.  
    1223:

    The Daily Politics is asking party members for reactions to their leader's speech. One calls it "brilliant" and says David Cameron reminded Conservatives "what our roots are".

     
  28.  
    Neil Readdy, Manchester

    emails: A very passionate speech by Cameron

     
  29.  
    1218:

    When asked whether the Daily Mail should apologise to Ed Miliband for an article about his father "hated Britain", Michael Gove tells the BBC that "newspapers shouldn't apologise to politicians for being robust".

     
  30.  
    1216:

    Michael Gove tells the BBC's Daily Politics that the Conservatives will "sort out" the energy market. "I know that the market needs to be changed in a way that ensures that we have greater competition," he adds.

     
  31.  
    David S. Moon

    tweets: I think that both Labour and Tory core voters will leave this conference season happier than before.

     
  32.  
    1213:

    It was "quite a sober speech" from David Cameron, the BBC's Norman Smith says; a "holding speech" and "an appeal for patience". He seemed to be telling Conservatives that if they deviate from a commitment to deficit reduction, they should "look at what happened to our Greek friends". And the repeated references to the land of opportunity - still a long way off - resembled a "biblical allusion to the promised land", our correspondent comments.

     
  33.  
    AK

    tweets: As the #tories get ready to leave best check they haven't left anything behind, kids, red boxes, etc.. #cpc13

     
  34.  
    jamthesun

    emails: Is it just me or was that speech entirely content free? Lots of flag waving. Lots of juvenile digs at other parties. No substance. Very poor.

     
  35.  
    Gaby Hinsliff, The Times

    tweets: It wasn't a speech so much as a long, furious, open letter to Ed Miliband. When the man worrying much of he hall is Farage. #cpc13

     
  36.  
    1210:

    "This is a One Nation speech" former Conservative deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine tells the BBC's Daily Politics programme. He says David Cameron is "a One Nation Conservative. That is why the Conservatives have done so much better since he became leader."

     
  37.  
    1208:

    David and Samantha Cameron have left the stage, the curtain has come down on this year's Conservative conference and party members start to drift home. But there's plenty of reaction to the prime minister's speech still to come.

     
  38.  
    Ribblehead

    comments: DC can't help how he was born. Should he say I'm posh therefore I've no right to a public position. Should we say I'm poor I've no right to talk about making money and business.

     
  39.  
    milly65

    comments: Blimey, he really is deluded. Still, I suppose I would be if my wages hadn't gone down 15% in real terms over last 3 years, my pension contributions hadn't gone up by £60.00 a month, my day to day living costs hadn't gone up by 15% over last 3 years, and my expenses were able to just keep on rises with inflation like MPs, well done Dave.

     
  40.  
    Gaby Hinsliff, The Times

    tweets: Oh god he's nicked bill clinton's theme tune! (Fleet wood Mac) #cpc13

     
  41.  

    "No new policy announcements," BBC presenter Andrew Neil comments, "but we heard the staggering revelation that he wants an overall majority."

     
  42.  
    1203:

    Samantha Cameron joins her husband on stage to the strains of Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop", a song previously employed on the US election trail by Bill Clinton.

     
  43.  
    1201:

    "Together we've made it this far. Together we'll finish the job we've started. Together we'll build that land of opportunity," the prime minister concludes.

     
  44.  
    1200:

    David Cameron describes the next election as a choice to "move forward to something better or go back to something worse".

     
  45.  
    1200:
    Michael Gove, Theresa May, and George Osborne Education Secretary Michael Gove, Home Secretary Theresa May, and Chancellor George Osborne listen to the PM's speech
     
  46.  
    1158:

    David Cameron says: "When the election comes, we won't be campaigning for a coalition. We will be fighting heart and soul for a majority Conservative government, because that is what our country needs."

     
  47.  
    Fairyjones

    comments: "at long last, and for the first time ever" people will be able to "make it" wherever they live, whatever their background... so long as that background includes a family who can support you through both college and university education, stumping up 9K a year for fees, and then find £20-£30k to help you buy a house afterwards.

     
  48.  
    1156:
    David Cameron

    David Cameron says young people have an option of "a life on benefits" and Conservatives should ask if that option "should really exist at all".

     
  49.  
    Binman

    comments: There is nothing wrong with profit but there sure is something wrong with greed! The class divide has never been so stark, Bedroom taxes for the poorest, tax breaks for the super-rich and a middle class struggling and so turning to extremism in the form of UKIP. He bemoans national debt but has overseen a massive increase in personal indebtedness via student loans and welfare cuts. Shameful

     
  50.  
    theendisnigh

    comments: I don't consider myself elitist. I didn't go to university but have worked myself up to a reasonable job. I don't earn bankers' bucks but do all right. Opportunity is out there, you just have to work at it when you find it.

     
  51.  
    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: Deported foreign prisoners will have to pay own legal bills to appeal - PM #cpc13

     
  52.  
    1154:

    David Cameron says Iain Duncan Smith "understands this isn't about fixing systems - it's about saving lives".

     
  53.  
    Milton

    comments: What's wrong with being elitist? Don't be ashamed of it, David. This country is going to the dogs because governments are pandering to the people that bring nothing to society, and not helping out those at the top who create wealth

     
  54.  
    1153:

    "If you are not entitled to our free National Health Service, you should pay for it," David Cameron says.

     
  55.  
    Nick Robinson Political editor

    tweets: Cameron speech sold as presenting the Tory mission - that appears to be to brand Labour as the party of 1970s socialism

     
  56.  
    1152:

    David Cameron says people who work ask "why should my taxes go to people who could work but don't? Or to those who live in homes that hard-working people could never afford? Or to people who have no right to be here in the first place?" He says they are right to be angry.

     
  57.  
    1150:
    David Cameron

    The prime minister tells the party: "Let us set this ambition for our country: let's eliminate illiteracy and give every one of those children a chance."

     
  58.  
    Totum

    tweets: @BBC_Haveyoursay #cpc13 This Land of Opportunity sounds great but Dave needs to say which wardrobe door you have to go through to find it

     
  59.  
    Nikita D: xox

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay cutting taxes for hard working people is great but you need to realise noones as hard working as the people at bottom....

     
  60.  
    1148:

    David Cameron says that shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg "has backed a free school in his own city". The PM says "the left... don't like privilege - unless of course it's for their own children".

     
  61.  
    1148:

    David Cameron says that Michael Gove's work as Education Secretary is "the kind of thing I came into politics to bring about".

     
  62.  
    1147:
    David Cameron David Cameron parodies the gestures of his political opponent Ed Balls
     
  63.  
    1146:

    David Cameron says his Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has "a huge belief in excellence, and massive energy, like a cross between Mr Chips and the Duracell bunny".

     
  64.  
    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    tweets: Biggest cheer so far at PM speech for attack on Lib Dems and "pointless constitutional tinkering" #cpc13

     
  65.  
    1144:

    "It's Labour who wreck our economy and it's we Conservatives who clear it up," David Cameron says.

     
  66.  
    Nigel Williams, Leicester

    emails: So if Conservative membership is so low and the conference is full of media and lobbyists, who is clapping?

     
  67.  
    1143:

    In another attack on Labour, David Cameron says: "We'll leave the 1970s-style socialism to others - we are the party of the future."

     
  68.  
    Alex Benjamin, Brussels,

    emails: It's solid stuff but feels flat and uninspiring. "Land of opportunity" sounds vacuous and almost as annoying as Miliband's repetition.

     
  69.  
    1142:

    The prime minister says: "HS2 is about bringing North and South together in our national endeavour."

     
  70.  
    Goves Silly Temper Tantrum

    comments: I am a striver, who works hard in paid employment. I cannot think of a single thing the coalition have done to improve my life or help me in any way, since 2010.

     
  71.  
    1140:

    "We're Tories. We believe in low taxes. And believe me - we will keep on cutting the taxes of hard-working people," David Cameron says. He also declares that he won't be lectured on tax by the Lib Dems.

     
  72.  
    mbuckhurst

    comments: My business is hampered directly by Government policies, Mr Cameron clearly has no idea what it's like at the bottom trying to live in his 'land of opportunity', my business costs have increased by over 100% in the last year, mainly to fund profits at the Post Office, so it's more attractive to sell and to increase profits at organisations that don't even pay their fair share of tax.

     
  73.  
    1139:

    David Cameron says Labour's policies are "all sticking plasters and quick fixes, cobbled together for the TV cameras: Red Ed and his Blue Peter economy."

     
  74.  
    Owlsoflaughter

    comments: All irrelevant. Anyone on benefits or working in the Public sector will vote Labour in the belief they will be better off financially. Anyone working hard in the private sector will vote Tory in the belief they will be better off financially. It's just a numbers game.

     
  75.  
    1137:

    David Cameron says he is "incredibly proud" of his wife Samantha for setting up her own business.

     
  76.  
    1136:
    David Cameron

    The prime minister says that "if Labour's plan for jobs is to attack business - ours is to back business".

     
  77.  
    1134:

    David Cameron says that if "taxes are higher here than elsewhere" global companies won't set up in the UK. "And if they don't come here, we don't get those jobs."

     
  78.  
    Colin Campbell, London

    emails: I am delighted to hear that he does not want Britain to shrink from the world. However wealth needs to be shared, houses must be built. We, as a country, are respected everywhere on this globe I have travelled for helping in their difficult times. However, we also owe our young a future. We must help them find a voice - all 1.5m unemployed.

     
  79.  
    Simon de la Rue

    emails: There are always streams of bitter comments published about David Cameron and quite frankly ignorant comments about how he has got us into more debt. Doesn't anyone remember the note from Liam Byrne? Labour are responsible for the situation this country is in and I have heard nothing from them as to how they could get us out again.

     
  80.  
    David Collsnder-Brown, London

    emails: This proposed policy with its focus on profit and individual wealth has more than a whiff of the love of money. Should our lives rather be in the service of others and be focused on the young, the weak and vulnerable rather than personal gain? In my experience much deeper gains and lasting riches follow. It seems to me, like Thatcher before him, Cameron for all his education does not understand that money is the means towards happiness and communal justice rather than the end.

     
  81.  
    1132:

    David Cameron says the Conservatives are "about big people, strong communities, responsible businesses, a bigger society - not a bigger state".

     
  82.  
    Chris Hirst, London

    emails: How ironic Cameron should choose a phrase most associated with historic mass immigration to the US in an apparently pro-business speech, when the entire immigration debate is going in the opposite, highly dangerous direction and is potentially very damaging to our talent based economy. As the CEO of a major ad agency, I find it already incredibly frustrating and difficult to get through the red tape to hire the people my business wants and needs. It would seem both the Conservatives and Labour are intent on moving in the direction of making it harder, not easier for me to not only hire the best global talent but make them want to come to the UK at all.

     
  83.  
    1131:

    David Cameron says: "We know that profit, wealth creation, tax cuts, enterprise... are not dirty, elitist words."

     
  84.  
    Timothy Birt, Dereham, Norfolk

    emails: Opportunity is great as long as it isn't used to exploit others, what is missing from the speech are the checks and balances to ensure fairness. Unfortunately, Cameron and Osborne seem to have a very distorted view of 'wealth creation' and this makes me worry about exactly what 'opportunities' are on offer.

     
  85.  
    1130:

    David Cameron defines his vision of a "land of opportunity". He says: "What matters is the effort you put in, and if you put the effort in you'll have the chance to make it."

     
  86.  
    Richard Johnstone

    tweets: @David_Cameron adds that finishing the job is about making this country a land of oppertunity for all. #CPC13.

     
  87.  
    1129:

    The prime minister accuses Labour of proposing "more spending, more borrowing, more debt". He concludes: "They have learned nothing."

     
  88.  
    Thom Reilly

    tweets: #cpc13 #Thatcher raises her head in #Cameron's speech. #Tories surely need to move on

     
  89.  
    1128:

    "To abandon deficit reduction now would throw away all the progress we've made. It would put us back to square one," David Cameron argues.

     
  90.  
    BBC News website reader

    texts: David Cameron says he has been cleaning up Labour's mess. Why are we in more debt now then when he took over?

     
  91.  
    1127:

    David Cameron says: "This country's debt crisis, created by Labour, is not over. After three years of cuts, we still have one of the biggest deficits in the world."

     
  92.  
    Stephen Sinclair, Chester

    emails: You must be joking. Rents, gas and electricity bills all out of control. No real affordable house building. In secure part time low paid jobs, pay being out stripped by inflation. Battling for banker's bonuses against the EU. Just a few reasons why it will never be a land of opportunity under Cameron.

     
  93.  
    1126:

    David Cameron says Labour created "the casino economy meets the welfare society meets the broken education system".

     
  94.  
    1125:

    Margaret Thatcher "was the greatest peace-time prime minister our country has ever had," David Cameron says, to applause.

     
  95.  
    1123:

    David Cameron says: "Margaret Thatcher made our country stand tall again, at home and abroad."

     
  96.  
    1123:

    David Cameron invites a standing ovation from the audience to support "the finest and bravest armed forces in the world". It's the longest ovation of the conference so far.

     
  97.  
    Anthony Hemsley

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay "You keep your shirt on, I'll keep the lights on". Must have taken hours to think that up, well done Dave!

     
  98.  
    1122:

    The prime minister wants the rest of the UK to say to Scotland: "We want you to stay. We want to stick together."

     
  99.  
    Arden_Forester

    tweets: Nice line on Staffs hospitals. NHS does NOT belong to Labour. It belongs to all of us. @BBC_HaveYourSay

     
  100.  
    Andrew Williams

    tweets: "Vodka! That's what makes this country great!" - David Cameron, 2013 #cpc13

     
  101.  
    1120:

    David Cameron says that, despite the Commons vote on Syria, "if we shrunk from the world we would be less safe and less prosperous".

     
  102.  
    Alex Tait

    tweets: What passion from @David_Cameron. To labour: "don't lecture us on the NHS again". It's not like they created it or anything is it....

     
  103.  
    1119:

    To cheers, the prime minister says: "We may be a small island, but we're a great country."

     
  104.  
    wayne carter

    tweets: @BBCBreaking @David_Cameron .it was not a party that left a mess,i think your find it was the banks.

     
  105.  
    1118:

    On the EU, David Cameron says: "We will give the British people their say in a referendum. That is our pledge. It will be your choice: in or out."

     
  106.  
    mop denson

    tweets: @David_Cameron so far speech sounding as if you are addressing nursery kids! #cpc13

     
  107.  
    1117:

    David Cameron says that Labour allowed the scandal at Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust to happen. "Don't you dare lecture anyone on the NHS again," he says.

     
  108.  
    1116:

    David Cameron says to Ed Miliband: "You keep your shirt on. I'll keep the lights on."

     
  109.  
    1115:

    "Together, we are clearing up the mess that Labour left," the prime minister says, "but that isn't job done - it's job begun".

     
  110.  
    1115:

    Referring to his recent holiday pictures with his shirt off, David Cameron jokes: "I've got the stomach for the fight."

     
  111.  
    1114:

    Striking an optimistic tone at the start, David Cameron says: "It is this party with the verve, energy and ideas to take our country forward."

     
  112.  
    Barry Gray

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay ...will Cameron actually make any reference to Scotland? #indyref #voteyes #1year2yes

     
  113.  
    1113:

    "The needle was at crisis point" when the coalition took office, David Cameron says.

     
  114.  
    Alasdair D. Murray

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay Preview of @David_Cameron's speech: Preaching hollow words & false promises to the alreay converted wealthy and upper class

     
  115.  
    1111:

    The audience rises to applaud as David Cameron arrives on stage.

     
  116.  
    Steven Swinford, Daily Telegraph

    tweets: "Another head ache, another heart ache, I'm so much older than I can take". What is Cameron saying with his trailer tune?

     
  117.  
    1108:

    David Cameron will take the stage in a few moments for his keynote speech to conference.

     
  118.  
    1106:

    "It's true" that voting for UKIP at the general election makes a Labour government more likely, former Conservative deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine tells the BBC's Daily Politics programme. "People are not that interested" in the political debate over EU powers, he adds.

     
  119.  
    Nara Hodge, Conservative activist

    tweets: David Cameron Leader's speech to the Conservative Party Conference: 'The Land of Opportunity' is only few minutes away. #cpc13

     
  120.  
    1103:

    In keeping with the Conservatives' desire to portray themselves as the pro-business party, Baroness Warsi introduces some young entrepreneurs and apprentices. Hayley Lockwood, a participant in the National Citizen Service, is speaking now. The scheme enables 16- and 17-year-olds in England and Northern Ireland to take part in voluntary projects.

     
  121.  
    Josh Davis

    tweets: Seriously who cares if @David_Cameron doesn't know how much a loaf of bread is, rather he'd be concentrating on more important issues

     
  122.  
    1100:

    Times columnist Gaby Hinsliff argues that David Cameron is attempting to channel Thatcher with his talk of a land of opportunity, and "recapture some of the excitement you used to get in politics". In Thatcher's day, it used to be "really exciting" to be in politics, she tells the BBC's Daily Politics programme, but people are no longer "carried away" by dramatic conference speeches.

     
  123.  
    1058:

    Meanwhile, the political editor of the Economist, James Astill, says it has been a "reasonably good week" for the Conservatives. Speaking on the BBC's Daily Politics programme, he reports that the mood at the conference has been "resigned, quietly pensive" but "somewhat hopeful that the recovery will continue and get stronger". David Cameron is "feeling okay right now", he concludes.

     
  124.  
    1055:

    Ruth Davidson gets an ovation as she ends her speech with fighting talk. "It's a fight we must win. It's a fight we will win," she says.

     
  125.  
    1054:

    Ruth Davidson recalls the 1995 referendum in Quebec on whether to choose independence from Canada, when the "result was incredibly close". She says that "the rest of Canada said we want you to stay" which swung the vote against independence.

     
  126.  
    1050:

    Ruth Davidson accuses Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond of "promising things for free" like "every shameless populist in history staring down the barrel of defeat". She jokes: "By polling day I'm expecting free beer for every voter."

     
  127.  
    Samantha and David Cameron

    The Camerons have now left their hotel for the conference hall. The PM is due to begin his keynote speech shortly after 11:00 BST.

     
  128.  
    1042:

    Ruth Davidson says: "It doesn't matter whether you are Welsh first, or English, or Northern Irish. You are British too. We are all equal under the union flag."

     
  129.  
    1041:

    "We are unselfconscious in a love of our country," Ruth Davidson says. "The Union is in our DNA."

     
  130.  
    1040:

    Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson begins her speech by asking party members to "reflect that this could be your last ever UK party conference".

     
  131.  
    1037:

    Education Secretary Michael Gove is on stage, describing Scotland's independence referendum as "the fight of our political lives - the battle for Britain".

     
  132.  
    1034:

    Members of the cabinet including Chancellor George Osborne and Home Secretary Theresa May are in their seats ahead of the big speech.

     
  133.  
    1032:

    It's back to the conference hall which is filling up ahead of David Cameron's speech, due just after 11:00 BST. Before that, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will address the throng.

     
  134.  
    James Bray

    tweets: On train back to London from #cpc13 - many haggard visages

     
  135.  
    1026:

    The party conference season "is probably the nearest public relations gets to rock and roll," says the BBC's Brian Wheeler in Manchester in a piece on the ever-growing army of political lobbyists: "the same blur of cavernous city centre venues, late nights, too much booze and dodgy hotel rooms, although rock bands probably consume fewer canapes."

     
  136.  
    Andy Bell, 5 News political editor

    tweets: The return of the pledge card #cpc13 @5_News pic.twitter.com/px6yT2wJur

     
  137.  
    Conservative activist Teck Khong

    tweets: A bright & mellifluous interlude "Alexander's Ragtime Band" to queue @ #cpc13 Final Day Speech pic.twitter.com/WgfObWP4zu

     
  138.  
    1017:
    William Hague

    Foreign Secretary William Hague braved inclement weather as he arrived at the conference centre for an early morning round of media interviews.

     
  139.  
    Blue Room

    From the BBC's Brian Wheeler in Manchester: This is the exclusive VIP lounge where corporate sponsors pay thousands of pounds for the chance to hang out with ministers. It always seems to be strangely empty...

     
  140.  
    Gareth Milner of the Huffington Post

    tweets: The queue already building up for @David_Cameron at #cpc13 pic.twitter.com/PxRVdO2lvg

     
  141.  
    Mark Hemus, Hales Owen

    emails: The people of this country have to give the Conservatives a chance to turn our country into a balanced economy financially, then pay off our national debt and at the same time get value for money in our public services without losing any quality of service. Then begin to grow the economy to be ABLE to afford to improve all levels of society, starting with the ones in need. If not, more debt, more business going abroad, more money spent on services where the public see little or no benefit as a whole.

     
  142.  
    David Godfrey, Tilford, Surrey

    emails: Cameron simply means that there will be more opportunity for exploitation by Big Business. A "flexible" workforce that can be fired at will and even work for nothing, low taxes and the opportunity to evade taxes completely without being pursued.

     
  143.  
    1003:

    MP Alun Cairns ends the UK session by reminding Conservatives that "by this time next year" they will know the outcome of Scotland's independence referendum. Conference will take a break before Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson speaks at around 10:30 BST.

     
  144.  
    Scottish Labour political adviser Martin McCluskey

    tweets: @DavidMundellMP It must get very boring reading the same script for more than 3 years. #cpc13

     
  145.  
    0958:
    George Osborne

    From the BBC's Brian Wheeler in Manchester: George Osborne got a hat tip from CBI director general John Cridland at a networking event last night over his much criticised Help to Buy scheme. "It's an intervention which we asked you to do, which you have done and which has made a real material difference to confidence," said the CBI chief as he introduced the chancellor.

     
  146.  
    0956:

    Scotland Office Minister David Mundell is on stage arguing that the policies of the Conservatives in the UK government benefit people and businesses in Scotland.

     
  147.  
    Mohammed Ansar

    The Daily Mail have achieved one thing, that's for sure. Taken any limelight away from the Tory conference. No, not that clever after all.

     
  148.  
    Conservative activist Robert Winfield

    tweets: Just joined the queue for @David Cameron's speech #cpc13

     
  149.  
    Ken Reid, UTV

    tweets: A few red faces at Tory conference as Theresa Villiers introduced as Secretary of State of Scotland!

     
  150.  
    0949:

    Andrew R T Davies, leader of the Conservatives in the National Assembly for Wales, is addressing conference. The Conservatives are the second largest party in the Assembly after Labour, who form the Welsh Government.

     
  151.  
    0944:

    Theresa Villiers says people in Northern Ireland worry about "the same things as everybody else: their jobs, their mortgage, their kids' education". She ends her speech by promising that she won't take the peace process "for granted".

     
  152.  
    0943:

    Applause for Theresa Villiers as she pays tribute to Northern Ireland's police.

     
  153.  
    0940:
    David Cameron

    The Press Association has released some photographs of David Cameron apparently poring over a final draft of his speech.

     
  154.  
    0939:

    Alun Cairns accidentally introduces Theresa Villiers as "the Secretary of State for Scotland". He quickly realises his mistake before the Northern Ireland secretary begins her speech.

     
  155.  
    0935:

    "The United Kingdom is greater than the sum of its parts," David Mundell says.

     
  156.  
    0935:

    Scotland Office Minister David Mundell says people want the Scottish and UK governments to work together on economic growth. He claims polling shows "the Scottish government have got their priorities wrong by focusing on the referendum".

     
  157.  
    Christopher Lovett

    tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay Did vote Tory. But now, a coalition seems the best alternative for an accountable, (slightly more) regulated #government.

     
  158.  
    0932:

    Ministers David Jones, David Mundell, and Theresa Villiers join Andrew R T Davies, the leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly, for a panel discussion chaired by Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns.

     
  159.  
    Tony Hardy

    tweets: People kicking off about David Cameron not knowing the price of a value loaf of bread? In other news, it's Wednesday.

     
  160.  
    Jon Fyne, Sheffield

    emails: What irony David Cameron should deliver this speech in Manchester, a city (like most of those in the north /midlands) which has suffered inordinately under the Tories. He obviously thinks the electorate have short memories - we've heard all this rhetoric since the 1980s and the evidence their policies don't work is writ large over the destruction of industry (and subsequent economic reliance on the south-east orientated finance economy), the legions of unemployed (which continue to blight this country) and the ever-widening gap between the top few percent and the rest of us. As long as the Tories remain in power, the UK will be a land of opportunity for corporate business and the wealthy elite only, at the expense of the nation as a whole, and the division (social, economic and geographic) so evident in places like Manchester will only get greater still

     
  161.  
    Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan

    tweets: I've decided that I really like Manchester, spiritual capital of classical liberalism.

     
  162.  
    Andrew Oliver, Manchester

    emails: I'm a 32-year-old single dad. Traditionally I have always hated the Tories and everything they stand for. Labour has always won my vote. When the cuts first began happening, like most of the country I was angry! It felt like an attack on the poor of society that have not really been responsible for this economic mess. But now my opinion on the whole situation has changed drastically. For me this government has opened my eyes to what Labour did. A Labour voter turned Tory. Now who would have thought that of me?

     
  163.  
    0922:

    Welsh Secretary David Jones is on stage and also begins his speech in Welsh. The UK nations "are indeed better together", he says.

     
  164.  
    0921:

    The final morning session of conference begins with a string of Welsh from Vale of Glamorgan MP Alun Cairns. He is opening a session on "the UK" which will feature Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers, Scotland Office minister David Mundell and Welsh Secretary David Jones.

     
  165.  
    Jack of Kent

    tweets: Remarkable that the 'row' between a Labour leader and a right-wing tabloid dominates news during Tory conference week - and PM speech day.

     
  166.  
    0918:

    Former Labour communications chief Alastair Campbell went head-to-head with the Daily Mail's deputy editor Jon Steafel in a heated exchange on last night's Newsnight.

     
  167.  
    0917:

    Labour leader Ed Miliband's demand for an apology from the Daily Mail continues to draw media attention away from the Conservative conference's grand finale. Mr Miliband is angry about an article in which the paper claimed his late father Ralph, a Marxist academic who served in the Royal Navy, "hated Britain".

     
  168.  
    Andrew

    tweets: well will the Tory conference be like the states & finish on a big shut down or will the mail continue to be the main talking point of today

     
  169.  
    Kai Aberdare

    emails: I think David needs to take a good look at his party, especially with the recent tirade by IDS and Osborne trying to reinstate failed policies. If Mr Cameron seriously wishes to build something better, then he needs to start from the ground up not by tinkering at the edges. I haven't seen anything from the Tory conference that is in the least inspiring that the Conservatives have anything new or indeed any aspirations. For all of his fancy words and ''big'' rhetoric David Cameron doesn't have any ambition in my opinion.

     
  170.  
    BBC News website reader

    texts: Hague - DREADFUL communication skill on his "academic" explanation of Labour's open goal market illiteracy on energy policy and a pathetic weak response to the Mail's Marxist Millibands charge! Past his sell-by in a big way!

     
  171.  
    0905:

    Meanwhile, Labour is reminding users of Twitter that it has pledged to reverse an increase in business rates for medium and small businesses if elected in 2015.

     
  172.  
    0904:

    The Conservatives are keen to paint themselves as the party that backs business ahead of David Cameron's speech. Foreign Secretary William Hague has been on interview duty this morning, telling the BBC: "Enterprise, wealth creation - these are not dirty words. This is what creates the jobs... Labour don't seem to appreciate that."

     
  173.  
    Kate Foster, Portsmouth

    Emails: I despair that any promise made will ever be kept. I would love to see a Conservative government who knew its people but this man and his government will never ever know the daily challenges myself and millions like me have to face each day. I am ashamed to say that my kind are far too beneath his notice or care to worry about despite working hard and doing our best to live decently and to contribute to our country. We receive nothing but further hardships and trials and a longer darker rocky road ahead.

     
  174.  
    Steve Oldfield, Wilmslow

    emails: At last some common sense that needed voicing. You don't lift people out of poverty by increasing welfare; you just trap them in near poverty and sink the country in debt. You don't create wealth by making life hard for business; you create wealth by allowing it to flourish. You don't give opportunity by dumbing down education so that everyone gets good grades; you do it by genuinely improving education through rigorous exams, strong discipline and streaming. I have always been a swing voter, voted for Blair in his early days, but Ed Miliband and his sidekick Ed Balls have nothing to offer but more borrowing, more spending, false credit-backed growth and popularity giveaways like the energy cap. Let's get business booming and create real wealth through exports - right now the Tories have got it right and are what we need.

     
  175.  
    0853:

    There is analysis from BBC News and details of key points in the independence debate on this special report entitled Scotland's future.

     
  176.  
    0850:

    Ruth Davidson will also say that Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond "doesn't speak for a majority of Scots" when advocating independence. David Cameron is expected to drive the point home in his own closing speech.

     
  177.  
    Danny England, London

    emails: I truly believe that the Conservatives and David Cameron can do it, the issue is that many voters will vote for Ed Miliband's populist policies. I want something in Cameron's speech about London housing - we NEED another 500 000 homes!

     
  178.  
    Mark, St. Ives, Cornwall

    emails: This is a distillation of the same propaganda message that we've been hearing from the Conservatives for the last 30 years. So Cameron offers us no change or respite from the continued onslaught on the social gains of the 20th century. Tory propagandists may want people to believe they offer us a land of opportunity for everyone, but really it's only for those who are already in a comfortable position; everyone else will suffer reduced living standards and expensive, unaffordable private for profit services, where they once enjoyed publicly provided ones where the profit was the shared social enrichment.

     
  179.  
    0843:

    Ruth Davidson is expected to tell the Conservatives that the UK would be worse off without Scotland, and to call on unionists to "hammer home" the message ahead of next year's referendum on Scottish independence.

     
  180.  
    Gary Ward, Oldham

    emails: The current policies are just bearing fruit. It would be wrong to allow this process to falter. Let's hope the country sees this and allows him to guide the country back into the black and put the "Great" back into Britain. I pray that the electorate are not short sighed enough to allow Labour back in power just as things are looking up.

     
  181.  
    M. Foster, Worksop

    emails: Amid all the reforms and promises, I fail to see any concerted effort to actually create more jobs and industries which this country really needs in order to compete in the world today.

     
  182.  
    0832:

    Before David Cameron's speech, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson will address conference. In a session titled "stronger together", Ms Davidson will advance arguments in favour of the status quo. There is less than a year to go before Scotland votes in its independence referendum.

     
  183.  
    0830:

    This will be the prime minister's penultimate conference speech before the next general election. David Cameron will restate the coalition's aim of eliminating the deficit and clearing up the "mess" left by Labour.

     
  184.  
    0829:

    Welcome to our coverage of the final day of the Conservative conference. David Cameron will give the closing speech to conference later this morning, setting out his vision to turn Britain into a "land of opportunity".

     

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