Paedophile ring protected Sir Cyril Smith, MP claims

Sir Cyril Smith

Related Stories

Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith was part of a high-level paedophile ring operating at Westminster in the 1970s, a Labour MP has claimed.

Simon Danczuk alleges in a new book Sir Cyril used his influence to escape prosecution for sexually abusing boys.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the MP was part of an "informal" network of sex abusers.

And he claimed police were pressured by the authorities to drop investigations into his activities.

"Had he been prosecuted, then the house of cards would have fallen, in terms of that paedophile network, and it could have brought the government down," the Labour MP told Today.

He also claimed child abuse allegations against Sir Cyril were widely known at the time and were even raised in public, at a Liberal party conference.

'Used local power'

Sir Cyril's family have said they are "saddened" by Mr Danczuk's allegations "made so long after Sir Cyril Smith's death and at a time he is no longer able to defend himself".

"Sir Cyril always denied accusations made against him while he was living," they added in a statement issued when extracts from Mr Danczuk's book were serialised in the Daily Mail.

Mr Danczuk, MP for Sir Cyril's former constituency Rochdale, alleges police received at least 144 complaints about the late Liberal MP but MI5 and Special Branch put pressure on police officers to drop investigations into the alleged abuse.

"When he was initially arrested, he used the local power that he had, in the 60s, to be able to convince people that he shouldn't be prosecuted," he told the Today programme.

"But once he became a member of Parliament in 1972, I think he joined an, obviously informal, network of paedophiles that existed in and around Westminster."

Asked how he could say that with certainty, Mr Danczuk said Sir Cyril had been identified as attending Elm Guest House in south-west London, adding: "[This is] where it is alleged other significant paedophiles attended."

Children's home

The MP later told the BBC News channel: "We are moving to a stage where we require a public inquiry, where people can be called before that inquiry to give evidence on oath.

"Cyril was part of this network, but there was a much broader cover-up and what we now need is to start taking that cover up apart and finding out exactly who was in there, and who knew what at the time.

"I think it would be quite revealing."

In 2012, the Metropolitan Police launched an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by politicians in the late 1970s and 1980s, after Labour MP Tom Watson raised concerns in the House of Commons about a "powerful paedophile network linked to Parliament and No 10".

The investigation, Operation Fernbridge, is centred on the former Elm Guest House in Barnes, the scene of alleged parties involving MPs and other members of the establishment.

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed Sir Cyril was among those who visited the premises.

The Crown Prosecution Service has said he should have been prosecuted for 1960s abuse in Rochdale. Sir Cyril died in 2010 aged 82.

It was alleged he raped boys at the Knowl View residential school and abused boys at Cambridge House Children's Home, a privately-run care home in Rochdale, which closed in 1965.

He had a long association with Knowl View, where he was on the management board when he was a councillor.

Sir Cyril was originally a Labour councillor in Rochdale and later a Liberal then Liberal Democrat MP for the town from 1972 to 1992.

The Daily Mail has repeatedly pressed senior Liberal Democrats over what they knew about his alleged activities.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the current Lib Dem leader, said that when all Lib Dem MPs and peers were asked two years ago whether they had heard of the abuse claims against Sir Cyril "no-one said they did".

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Politics stories

RSS

Conservative conference

  1.  
    @robindbrant 14:47: Robin Brant, Political Correspondent BBC News

    tweets: think the story later will be of a much bigger donation to @ukip but not another defection. happy to be proved wrong though on the latter.

     
  2.  
    Text: 61124 14:43: Get involved

    Rob, Lichfield: In response to Patrick Wintour's tweet at 14.32 - the Human Rights Act (HRA) is a very short document that brings the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into our law. Scrapping HRA would by definition scrap ECHR. What will be interesting is what the new Bill of Rights would put in its place.

     
  3.  
    Text: 61124 14:40: Get involved

    Rebecca, Nottinghamshire: Cameron is certainly starting to sway my vote to being Tory for the first time.

     
  4.  
    Text: 61124 14:40: Get involved

    BBC News website reader: I'm positive about the changes to tax - especially the 40% band. At last, the law-abiding hard-working middle are being recognised! Now let's please review stamp duty.

     
  5.  
    Text: 61124 14:39: Get involved

    BBC News website reader: Being offered future tax cuts on the condition of economic recovery by a party that missed their own growth and deficit targets is hardly encouraging. Specific on the offers, vague on the means to achieve these offers.

     
  6.  
    Text: 61124 14:38: Get involved

    Lee Sanders, Chichester: Mr Cameron, can't buy my vote back with a pledge to increase the 40% tax bracket to 50k after what you did to middle earners and families on the child benefit.

     
  7.  
    @PCollinsTimes 14:36: Philip Collins, Writer, The Times

    tweets: As a piece of political writing, that was the best speech Cameron has done. Clear, well written and cleverly constructed.

     
  8.  
    Text: 61124 14:36: Get involved

    Anna, Northumberland: Good, inspiring, motivating speech. He's got my vote and my help in canvassing for the first time.

     
  9.  
    @tnewtondunn 14:35: Tom Newton Dunn, The Sun political editor

    Tweets: Ed Balls attacks Cameron's #cpc14 tax cuts as "pie in the sky promises" for not being costed - but interestingly doesn't rule out matching.

     
  10.  
    @patrickwintour 14:32: Patrick Wintour, Political Editor of the Guardian

    tweets: Cameron says will scrap Human Rights Act and replace with British Bill of Rights. Does not say will quit European Convention on Human Rights.

     
  11.  
    @rafaelbehr 14:30: Rafael Behr, Guardian columnist

    tweets: As with Osbo's big raid on working poor, I wonder if Tories getting just a bit cocky with this dubiously funded (upper) mid class tax cut.

     
  12.  
    @NigelpMorris 14:30: Nigel Morris, Deputy Political Editor of the Independent

    tweets: Missing from Cameron speech - any reference to (1) Boris Johnson (2) Nick Clegg and the @LibDems #CPC14

     
  13.  
    @joeyjonessky 14:29: Joey Jones, Deputy Political Editor, Sky News

    tweets: Cameron's best speech to conference since entering Downing St. Tone varied wildly, but good bits v good indeed.

     
  14.  
    @JBeattieMirror 14:29: Jason Beattie, Daily Mirror political editor

    tweets: Things Cameron didn't mention, though he had a script: bedroom tax, food banks and A&E closures. Don't expect hounding from media on this.

     
  15.  
    14:28: Olympic audience

    There was a second Olympic champion in the Conservatives' midst this conference. James Cracknell - double Olympic rowing gold medallist - was in the audience for David Cameron's speech. Mr Cracknell is hoping to stand as a Conservative candidate at the general election. Yesterday, Olympic cycling champion Rebecca Pendleton made a speech to party activists on the importance of school sport.

    Double Olympic medallist James Cracknell
     
  16.  
    14:26: Union reaction

    Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, says the speech marks an "RIP to compassionate conservatism". "No amount of dressing up can hide the fact that the policies in this speech pass by those who need the most help to reward richer voters" she says.

     
  17.  
    @OwenJones84 14:20: Owen Jones, Guardian columnist

    tweets: David Cameron accidentally says he "resents" the poor. But it'd explain his cuts to benefits for workers, disabled and unemployed people.

     
  18.  
    @krishgm 14:19: Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Anchor Channel 4 News and Unreported World

    tweets: @OllyGrender well it does seem increasingly plausible that the only person who won't change jobs in the next five years is Nick Clegg.

     
  19.  
    Text: 61124 14:12: Get involved

    Remy Osman, Buckinghamshire: Just starting my career and Cameron's speech has convinced me a Tory government will support me to keep more of my salary and buy a house.

     
  20.  
    14:09: Holly Watt, Whitehall Editor for the Telegraph

    writes: Michael Fallon confirms UK defence budget safe for now. The defence secretary says that Britain will continue to spend 2% of GDP on defence and attacks Labour's "terrible legacy". Read more

     
  21.  
    Text: 61124 14:03: Get involved

    Martin Carter, Winchester: David Cameron certainly more prime ministerial than Ed Miliband's debacle last week. I'll have no qualms voting Tory next year.

     
  22.  
    14:03: More reaction

    Some more reaction to the tax cuts set out by David Cameron in his final party conference speech before the election. Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, says: "This was a positive speech for taxpayers, with tax cuts for the lowest paid and long-overdue relief for ordinary people being clobbered by the higher rate of tax. Leaving more of people's money in their own pockets is not just morally right, but the best way to promote economic growth and long-term prosperity." Mr Isaby argues that the next step should be to bring National Insurance thresholds in line with income tax to take the lowest paid out of tax altogether.

     
  23.  
    Text: 61124 14:02: Get involved

    BBC News website reader: Shot a lot of Labour and UKIP foxes in that speech. I listened on the radio and could hear the genuine passion in his voice. I felt that I was hearing the real man behind the smooth persona, and it was refreshing.

     
  24.  
    @nigelfletcher 14:01: Nigel Fletcher, ex-Conservative adviser

    tweets: I saw both Miliband and Cameron after they'd given their speeches. I'd say this sums it up. #CPC14. See photo

     
  25.  
    Text: 61124 13:56: Get involved

    David Holt, Margate. Kent: As a lifelong Labour supporter who lives in Margate I'd like to thank the prime minister for showing me a third way of supporting Ed Miliband by voting for Nigel Farage. My Labour vote is wasted in North Thanet! But thanks to David Cameron I now know my vote can now be effective thank you.

     
  26.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk 13:53: Get involved

    Chris Tuck: What a difference from last week's leaders speech. Coherent, sensible, planned and delivered with emotion. Without the predictable rhetoric of class war.

     
  27.  
    Text: 61124 13:52: Get involved

    BBC News website reader: Cameron can stamp his foot and have a strop with his party faithful re our NHS. It cuts no mustard with voters.

     
  28.  
    13:51: Lib Dem reaction

    Liberal Democrat Treasury Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander accuses the Conservatives of a "shameless attempt" to copy his party's policy on the personal tax allowance. He claims the Conservatives' plan for government is based solely on spending cuts that will most affect the working-age poor. The Lib Dems, however, would fund tax cuts "fairly" and ask those with the "broadest shoulders" to pay more, he says.

     
  29.  
    @BBCNormanS 13:48: Norman Smith, BBC

    tweets: 800,000 tax payers will be taken out of higher rate tax band say Tory sources #cpc14

     
  30.  
    13:46: Business reaction

    The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) welcomes pledges to maintain low corporation tax rates - but calls for further reductions in business rates. While applauding the PM's focus on addressing the UK's housing shortage, the BCC says governments need to be more ambitious and support private sector construction of at least 200,000 new homes per annum. Low corporation taxes are also welcomed by the Confederation of British Industry as a "positive signal to business". The organisation notes David Cameron's "commitment to a long-term economic plan for a successful Britain" - but stresses how "vital" access to the EU single market is for UK businesses.

     
  31.  
    @MASieghart 13:43: Mary Ann Sieghart, Journalist

    tweets: 'Unlike some, I prefer to keep private conversations private,' says Gove on #WATO. Do hope he's not dissing the PM.

     
  32.  
    13:41: Costs

    According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies' Paul Johnson, the combined cost of tax cuts promised by David Cameron under a Conservative government would be £7bn a year by 2020. Mr Johnson says that "even without tax giveaways plans to cut deficit down will require really extraordinary spending cuts" and adds that it will be "very important to understand how this is paid for".

     
  33.  
    @David_Cameron 13:37: David Cameron

    tweets: My commitment to 30 million hardworking taxpayers: the @Conservatives will make sure your hard work is rewarded. See photo

     
  34.  
    13:34: Gove on MPs' souls

    Asked about the defections to UKIP, Chief Whip Michael Gove says "he cannot see into the souls" of his fellow MPs and if people are "determined to be deceitful" there is little that he can do about it. He accuses Mark Reckless of "dishonouring" commitments he made to be in Birmingham and campaign for the party in Clacton. But he says he believes all remaining Tory MPs are "fantastically decent".

     
  35.  
    @FraserNelson 13:32: Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator

    Tweets: "Cameron is right to focus on 'me in Downing St or Ed Miliband in Downing St'. Even now he is the Tory party's most valuable single asset."

     
  36.  
    @George_Osborne 13:27: George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer

    Tweets: "Best speech PM's given. Spelt out clear plan for next 5 years. Contrast with last week couldn't be starker".

     
  37.  
    13:25: 'Powerful signal' BBC Radio 4

    Michael Gove is doing the rounds after his leader's speech. He tells the World at One that he disagrees with his former adviser Dominic Cummings, who has claimed that the prime minister previously said there was "no money" for such tax cuts. He says the tax plans "send a very powerful signal" that the Conservatives will enable hard-working people to keep more of their own money.

     
  38.  
    13:23: Appreciation
    Conservative activists
     
  39.  
    13:21: MEPs grill Hill

    In other news, the UK's nomination for the next European Commission, Lord Hill, is facing a pre-confirmation hearing in the European Parliament. He is being scrutinised by MEPs from the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on the financial services portfolio he has been given by Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker.

     
  40.  
    13:20: IFS on tax cuts

    The proposal to raise the personal allowance to £12,500 will cost £7bn, the Institute for Fiscal Studies says. The think tank's director Paul Johnson tells the BBC it is a "big cost" - more than double the amount of welfare savings announced by George Osborne earlier this week.

     
  41.  
    13:19: Personal plea Nick Robinson Political editor

    The speech was highly personal. The prime minister was almost saying: "You may not like me or my party but you have a simple choice between me and Ed Miliband." The Conservatives think this is a winning message.

     
  42.  
    Text: 61124 13:12: Get involved

    Richard, Worksop: Well I'm nailing my vote to the Tory flag pole, well delivered helpful to me and my family - I live in a labour fortress though so won't make a difference.

     
  43.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk 13:12: Get involved

    Julie in Kent: Great speech but what about the people in their forties who lost their homes the last time Tories were in and negative equity was one of the most used phrases ever, and have never recovered. They don't qualify for all these first time buyer schemes and are looking only at becoming 'rest of life renters!' What are the Tories doing to help this group?

     
  44.  
    13:11: Letting go

    Conservative chief whip Michael Gove tells BBC Daily Politics that David Cameron's pledge to raise the 40p income rate tax threshold will cost "just under £2bn". He confirms that the announced tax cuts would not take place until the books are balanced. Andrew Neil raises Conservative MP defections to UKIP, and asks Mr Gove why he is "so useless" at his job. In an entertaining exchange, Mr Gove says he tries his best, to which Mr Neil suggests "Your best is not good enough". "Well that's what my mother's always told tell me," Mr Gove responds. He says once someone decides "in their heart" they are going to leave a political party or an organisation it is hard to stop them.

    Andrew Neil and Michael Gove
     
  45.  
    13:09: A sense of relief?
    The Camerons
     
  46.  
    @bbcnickrobinson 13:05: Nick Robinson, BBC

    tweets: Cameron's speech = classic Tory Coke - sound money, tax cuts, a fight with Europe. The question - has Britain got the taste for it?

     
  47.  
    13:04: Farage reaction

    UKIP leader Nigel Farage says: "None of David Cameron's promises are achievable without fundamental treaty change. Is that what he is now suggesting?"

     
  48.  
    13:02: Main points

    Just a recap of the main points from the PM's speech. He promised to raise the point at which people start paying income tax to earnings of £12,500 a year and to increase the threshold for higher-rate income tax to £50,000. He also pledged not to cut NHS funding in England between 2015 and 2020, and to abolish exclusive zero-hours contracts.

     
  49.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk 12:58: Get involved

    Chris, Notts: Cameron looks very strong today, he made Miliband look like a fool.

     
  50.  
    Text: 61124 12:58: Get involved

    BBC News website reader: I like the idea of that tax cut, but how on earth is it going to be paid for?

     
  51.  
    12:54: Michael Gove Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Conservative Chief Whip Michael Gove tells Andrew Neil that he is not going to say "what is in each progressive Budget", but that the promises made by David Cameron in his speech will be fulfilled by 2020.

     
  52.  
    Text: 61124 12:52: Get involved

    BBC News website reader: Liked Cameron's speech! Sounded good. Still need to know how it gets funded, economic growth?

     
  53.  
    Text: 61124 12:51: Get involved

    Ben from Gloucestershire: How about some balance? I, like millions of others, see through Cameron's predictable party conference rhetoric. Not remarkable, predictable.

     
  54.  
    12:49: Robinson verdict Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    BBC political editor Nick Robinson says the speech was a "classic Tory" one, arguing for tax cuts and a fight with Europe. But he also notes that Labour will immediately ask: "Where is this cash coming from?"

     
  55.  
    12:47: Big exit
    David and Samantha Cameron
     
  56.  
    Text: 61124 12:45: Get involved

    Chris, in Lancashire: Whatever your political views, you have to say that speech was brilliant.

     
  57.  
    @Kevin_Maguire 12:45: Kevin Maguire, Daily Mirror associate editor & New Statesman columnist

    tweets: On style, Cam gave Mili a lecture on how a podium and autocue can trump walking and forgetting. On substance, however...

     
  58.  
    12:45: Mac is back

    David Cameron leaves the stage to the sound of Don't Stop by Fleetwood Mac - a song much-heard at Bill Clinton campaign rallies in 1992.

     
  59.  
    12:44: It's over
    David Cameron and Samantha Cameron
     
  60.  
    12:44: Speech done

    Reaching his finale, David Cameron says: "Let's not go back to square one. Let's finish what we have begun. Let's build a Britain we are proud to call home, for you, for your family, for everyone." He receives a standing ovation from the crowd, and is joined by his wife Samantha on stage.

     
  61.  
    12:42: 'Better future'

    In an emotional plea to voters, David Cameron says he does not claim to be a "perfect leader". I'm your public servant standing here wanting to make our country so much better for your children and mine, he says. Mr Cameron expresses his love for the country and insists he has the track record and the right team to secure a better future for the country.

     
  62.  
    12:39: Cameron jokes about Farage and Miliband
    David Cameron addressing the conference
     
  63.  
    12:39: 'Proud again'

    We are making Britain proud again, David Cameron says of the Conservatives. He say exports to China are doubling, with manufacturing booming, record levels of employment and the country taking a lead on climate change. All the hard work is finally paying off and the light is coming up after some long, dark days, the prime minister adds.

     
  64.  
    12:37: Farage

    David Cameron says there is only one real choice - the Conservatives or Labour. A vote for UKIP is a vote for Labour, he adds. On 7 May you could "go to bed with Nigel Farage and wake up with Ed Miliband", the PM warns.

     
  65.  
    12:35: Healthcare spending

    Here is the breakdown of how the government allocated funds to healthcare services in the 2012-13 calendar year, via the BBC's Nick Triggle.

    Spending on health care services 2012-13
     
  66.  
    12:35: Bill of Rights

    David Cameron pledges a new British Bill of Rights under a future Conservative government, and the abolition of Labour's Human Rights Act.

     
  67.  
    12:34: Migration statistics

    Here are the official statistics on international migration since 1995.

    Long-term international migration
     
  68.  
    12:33: Immigration

    David Cameron recaps on his vision for a future Britain - where reward will follow effort and if you put in you get out. But it must also be strong in the world and control its own destiny, he adds, and makes reference to immigration. Mr Cameron says this will be at the very heart of his EU renegotiation strategy. He pledges that he will "not take no for an answer" on free movement. Anyone who thinks he can't achieve this should judge him by his record, he tells activists - pointing out that he secured the first ever EU budget cut. Only the Conservatives can offer the answer on Europe, and deliver the in/out referendum, he adds.

     
  69.  
    Text: 61124 12:32: Get involved

    BBC News website reader: Wow a tax cut for middle income earners. I must be dreaming. Now that would make a huge difference

     
  70.  
    @JohnRentoul 12:32: John Rentoul, Columnist, Independent on Sunday

    tweets: Got me. Well deserved standing ovation for Cameron saying, How dare Labour frighten people about his intentions on the NHS.

     
  71.  
    12:31: Unemployment

    Here are the official figures on unemployment and claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance since 1992.

    Unemployment and Jobseeker's Allowance in the UK 1992-2014
     
  72.  
    12:30: Deficit/surplus

    David Cameron has promised to cut the deficit and achieve a government surplus. Here is the official projection for the next five years.

    Structural deficit and surplus
     
  73.  
    @JamesManning4 12:29: James Manning, Head of Social at @TheSunNewspaper

    tweets: Huge emotion from Cameron on the NHS there. Remarkable moment.

     
  74.  
    12:29: Breaking News

    David Cameron promises to ring-fence the NHS budget from government spending cuts over the course of the next parliament, if the Conservatives win power. He says this is only made possible because of the government's economic management. Labour will "never understand" that you can only have a strong NHS if you have a strong economy, he adds. Remember, health care is a devolved matter in the UK, so these proposals are for the NHS in England.

     
  75.  
    12:28: NHS

    David Cameron accuses Labour of spreading "lies" about the NHS - and says Labour is the party of the scandal of Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. He recalls his experience of the health service with his late son, Ivan, and tells conference: "How dare they suggest I would ever put that at risk for other people's children." The party rises to its feet in support.

     
  76.  
    12:26: Pensions

    David Cameron hails the government's pensions reforms, which meets with applause from party activists.

     
  77.  
    @DuncanWeldon 12:25: Duncan Weldon, Economics Correspondent, BBC Newsnight

    tweets: Raising the higher rate threshold to £50,000 would cost around £5.5bn. So this tax package has a total cost of approx £17.5bn.

     
  78.  
    12:24: Teenagers

    David Cameron praises the National Citizens' Service - and pledges that a future Conservative government would guarantee a place on the scheme for every teenage in the country.

     
  79.  
    12:23: Unions

    Some more Labour attack from David Cameron - as he criticises the party's links with the unions. He says the Conservatives are the trade union for ordinary hard-working people and families.

     
  80.  
    @patrick_kidd 12:23: Patrick Kidd, Editor of The Times Diary column

    tweets: This is a really good speech. Unless you viscerally hate Cameron and the Tories in which case nothing he could say would change you.

     
  81.  
    Tweet: @BBCPolitics 12:22: Get involved

    @Brynleydm tweets: @BBCLouise @BBCPolitics Cameron speech full of what no mention of how

     
  82.  
    12:22: Education

    David Cameron tells activists the education system has improved significantly thanks to the Conservatives' education reforms - "with teachers who feel like leaders again". But Labour would risk all this, he claims. He attacks shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt, who he claims is trying to restrict the educational advantages he had has a child - whereas "I want to spread them to every child" in the country.

     
  83.  
    12:21: Samantha Cameron hears her husband talk about their daughter
    Samantha Cameron watching her husband
     
  84.  
    12:20: Home ownership

    David Cameron turns to housing. He says planning reforms and the Help to Buy scheme have boosted housing supply and helped first-time buyers to get on to the housing ladder. Labour was wrong to oppose these policies, the PM adds. He reiterates the Conservatives' plan for 100,000 new starter homes for first-time buyers under the age of 40 at 20% off the market value. The Conservatives are the party of home ownership once again, Mr Cameron declares.

     
  85.  
    @paulwaugh 12:18: Paul Waugh, Editor of PoliticsHome.com

    tweets: Cameron conference audience feeling 'At last, a proper tax cut for those on middle incomes!'

     
  86.  
    12:17: Forgetting

    David Cameron goes on the attack now - criticising Ed Miliband for forgetting to mention the deficit in his speech. In a conciliatory note, Mr Cameron says people forget car keys and that he even forget his child in a pub (queue an apology to his wife, Samantha, in the audience). But you cannot be prime minister of this country if you forget to mention the most important issue it faces, he adds.

     
  87.  
    @rosschawkins 12:16: Ross Hawkins, BBC

    tweets: Cameron takes aim at Nick Clegg's fox

     
  88.  
    12:15: Spending choice

    Let the message go out that under the Conservatives, if you work hard and do the right thing, we say you should keep all of your own money to spend as you choose, David Cameron tells conference.

     
  89.  
    12:15: PM: Minimum-wage earners to pay "nothing"
    David Cameron on taxes
     
  90.  
    12:13: Breaking News

    Another tax announcement - David Cameron says far too many people have been dragged into the 40% tax rate - and pledges to bring back "fairness" to tax system. He says a future Tory government would raise the threshold from £41,900 to £50,00.

     
  91.  
    12:13: 'Zilch'

    David Cameron says raising the income tax threshold to £12,500 will take one million more people out of income tax, and give a tax cut to 30 million people. Those on the minimum wage working 30 hours a week or more will pay "zilch" in income tax, he says to applause.

     
  92.  
    12:11: Breaking News

    A future Conservative government will raise the tax free personal allowance from £10,500 to £12,500, David Cameron pledges.

     
  93.  
    12:11: More on taxes

    We need tax cuts for hard working people, David Cameron tells activists.

     
  94.  
    12:11: Taxes

    David Cameron says he wants working people to be able to take home more of their money. He cites previous action, including raises in the personal income tax allowance - which has taken three million people out of the income tax system altogether: a tax cut for 25 million people, he adds. The PM tells conference he wants to go further - but says it will only be possible by reducing the deficit, which requires a further £25bn of savings.

     
  95.  
    12:10: 'Yorkshireman' trending on Twitter

    @TradeDesk_Steve tweets: Cameron performs an impression of William Hague - says Hague is our greatest living Yorkshireman. @tonyhatfield tweets: Odd that political commentators are obsessed in debating whether Hague is 'best living Yorkshireman'. #cpc2014 #bbcdp

     
  96.  
    12:09: Welfare plan

    On tax avoidance, David Cameron adds that companies must "pay what you owe". Turning to welfare, he says the Conservatives will stick to their plan which is "working". He tells activists that 800,00 fewer people are on the main out-of-work benefits thanks to the Conservatives' welfare reforms. He reiterates policy announcements made this week, including more apprenticeships and a lower benefits cap. The Conservatives are the real party of compassion on social justice, Mr Cameron adds.

     
  97.  
    12:05: Corporate taxes

    David Cameron pledges that a future Conservative government will have the lowest corporate taxes in the G20.

     
  98.  
    12:05: If a selfie isn't possible...
    Audience member taking a picture of David Cameron
     
  99.  
    12:04: Commitments

    David Cameron sets out Conservative commitments for the next five years, including more jobs, help to buy homes, lower taxes - but says these are only possible if the government sticks to its long-term economic plan.

     
  100.  
    12:01: 'Nothing's easy'

    The prime minister says the past four years of government have been about "laying the foundations" for Britain's future growth by steering the economy to recovery - but that the next five years will be about improving people's living standards. It's about "you, and your family - and helping you to get on", he adds. But he warns that nothing comes easy - and says the British public know this.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.