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Live Reporting

Edited by Johanna Howitt

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from us

    BBC Politics

    Boris and Carrie Johnson

    As the team in Manchester dash for their trains, here back at base in Westminster we're reaching for the pause button too.

    The team with you were Arryn Moy, Brian Wheeler, Hamish Mackay, Hazel Shearing, Jen Meierhans, and Kate Whannel.

    Thanks for following our live coverage today. Goodbye.

  2. In pictures: Boris Johnson's speech

    Conservative conference
    Image caption: Delegates queued to get into the conference hall for the PM's speech
    Image caption: The empty podium ahead of Boris Johnson's address
    Conference placards
    Image caption: Delegates were provided with sufficiently supportive placards
    Boris Johnson
    Image caption: Boris Johnson got a standing ovation as he took to the stage
    Image caption: Cabinet members took the front row seats
    Carrie Johnson
    Image caption: Carrie Johnson joined her husband on stage at the end of his speech
  3. Round up of the week's conference headlines


    As we wind down our live coverage, here's a quick recap of the headlines from the Conservative party conference.

    • Closing the party's annual gathering in Manchester, Boris Johnson said promoting opportunity across the UK is "our mission as Conservatives" .
    • The PM said fixing the "broken housing market" and boosting infrastructure would help "level up" the economy. And he pledged to control immigration to boost wages.
    • On Monday, Rishi Sunak told party members that future tax cuts are conditional on repairing the UK's public finances after Covid. In his first conference speech as chancellor, he said he wanted lower taxes - but funding the pandemic recovery "comes with a cost"
    • Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the courts will get new powers to stop disruptive activists attending protests
    • Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced a review of leadership and management in the NHS
    • Conservative Party Chairman Oliver Dowden, meanwhile, said civil servants working from home should "lead by example" by returning to the office. He said people “need to get off their Pelotons and back to their desks”
    • In an interview with the BBC, Boris Johnson said he does not support calls to make misogyny a hate crime as there is "abundant" existing legislation to tackle violence against women.
    • And the PM told the BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg he is "not worried" about the current jobs gap and rising prices in the UK, saying supply chains will sort themselves out "rapidly".
  4. WATCH: Johnson says Thatcher would not have ignored the public finances 'meteorite'

    Boris Johnson said Margaret Thatcher would have warned against more borrowing now to help public finances, as it would mean higher interest rates and taxes later. Addressing his party conference on dealing with coronavirus, he said his party had "looked after the NHS for most of its history" and it was the party to "rise to the challenge" and deal with the backlog of work.

    Video content

    Video caption: Conservative conference: Johnson on Thatcher and tax and NHS
  5. Words per minute - Johnson vs Starmer


    The prime minister raced through his speech (our keyboards were whirring as we kept up with his pace).

    For those interested in the stats, we've done some back-of-a-napkin calculations.

    Boris Johnson spoke roughly 5,809 words in 45 minutes. That gives him a words per minute speed of around 129.

    Compare that to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer who last week hit 82 words per minute.

    Of course, this includes spaces for applause, and in Starmer's case, the heckles too.

    Back in 2008 a study by Post Office Telecoms calculated that the ideal voice should speak no more than 164 words per minute. TMI?

  6. Reality Check

    Was the PM right about differences in life expectancy?

    There are “aching gaps” within some of Britain’s regions, Johnson said in his speech. He said people living in the Ribble Valley, in the north west of England, live seven years longer than people in Blackpool - only 33 miles away.

    According to Lancashire county council’s website, life expectancy at birth for males in Blackpool is 74.5 – the lowest in England. That compares with 80.9 in Ribble Valley – a significantly higher male life expectancy than England as a whole.

    For females, it’s a similar picture. Life expectancy at birth is 79.5 in Blackpool and 84.5 in Ribble Valley.

    Based on these figures (for 2017-2019), overall life expectancy for men and women in the Ribble Valley is almost six years longer than it is in Blackpool.

  7. I want to eradicate illiteracy and innumeracy, says education secretary

    Nadhim Zahawi

    Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi says the prime minister's "whole philosophy about how to deliver the outcomes that are advantageous to the people of this country post-Brexit is about a high-wage high-skilled economy".

    He argues that this will produce a better tax return and therefore better public services.

    "This is doable," he adds.

    On the announcement of a £3,000 premium for science and maths teachers, he says it is "the right thing to do".

    "Illiteracy and innumeracy is the scourge of a modern economy and something I want to eradicate," he says.

  8. The view from the conference hall

    Jennifer Scott

    Political reporter, BBC News


    Every party conference ends with the headline event - the leader's speech.

    And it is safe to say Boris Johnson knew how to please his audience.

    The flowery language, the historical references, the bashing of the opposition - they were all there in spades.

    And the membership laughed and applauded along, with particular cheers for ending cancel culture, encouraging capitalism and the success of British sports stars.

    The speech itself was not policy heavy - we counted one new announcement in 45 minutes - and there was no whooping at the mentions of tax or climate targets.

    It was also bordering on breathless, as the PM kept up the pace of his performance.

    But what seemed to matter to the gathered party faithful was the humour, the bravado and the positivity of their leader, which they believe makes him popular with the wider public.

    This is only the reaction to the speech in the Conservative conference bubble of course, and we can't say how it will have played out in living rooms across the country.

    But from a party perspective, the PM seems to have the crowd onside, and if there are any doubts about his leadership, you wouldn't hear them here.

    laughing men
    Image caption: The audience lapped up the PM's jokes and optimistic outlook
  9. WATCH: PM plans 'high-wage, high-skill, low tax economy'

    Boris Johnson told his party conference this his government will get on with the job of "uniting and levelling up" across the UK. He said Britain had one of the "most imbalanced societies and lop-sided economies" of richer nations with "aching gaps within the regions themselves".

    Video content

    Video caption: Conservative conference: Boris Johnson on UK economy and levelling up
  10. TUC: PM in no position to lecture on wages

    Frances O'Grady

    The general secretary of the TUC has also attacked the PM's speech.

    Frances O'Grady wrote on Twitter that Johnson was "in no position to lecture on wages when he is holding down the pay of millions of key workers in the public sector".

    Around 2.5 million public sector workers have had their pay frozen by the government this year.

    "And in what world is slashing universal credit for low-paid families levelling up Britain?" she added.

    O'Grady claimed the "best route to a high-wage economy, high-skill economy is to give workers and their unions more bargaining power at work", adding: "11 years into a Conservative government I hope the PM can finally learn this lesson."

  11. Blackford: PM laughs at everyone else's expense

    Ian Blackford

    The SNP's Westminster leader is less than impressed with the PM's performance.

    Boris Johnson mocked Ian Blackford in his speech, saying that for years he has been "telling the Commons that he is nothing but a humble crofter from the Isle of Skye"

    Blackford responded on Twitter, saying the "Tory rank and file might have had a good laugh today... but it is at everyone else’s expense".

    He claims: "Outside in the real world, no one whose universal credit is being cut by this cruel Tory government is laughing at Boris Johnson's shameless attempts to shift the blame".

    And he attacks Johnson's record on poverty and inequality, as well as slamming his "disatarous hard Brexit".

    Using his thread to hammer home his own party's message, Blackford adds: "After that speech, it is clearer than ever - the only way to keep Scotland safe from Tory cuts and the long-term damage of Brexit is to become an independent country."

  12. Key points: Johnson's conference speech


    It was a conference speech light on policy, but long on vision, optimism - and jokes.

    Here are some of the key points:

    • The PM said he will "get social care done"
    • He said his government will tackle "the biggest underlying issues of our economy and society" that "no government has had the guts to tackle before"
    • The UK is heading a "new direction" towards a "a high wage, high skill, high productivity and yes, low tax economy", he said
    • And he said levelling up will "take the pressure off parts of the overheating south east while simultaneously offering hope and opportunity to those areas that have felt left behind"
    • Boris Johnson defended raising taxes for the NHS after Covid, saying: "Margaret Thatcher would not have ignored this meteorite that has just crashed through the public finances."
    • Private sector investment and capitalism are "vital" to delivering the vaccine roll-out and net zero carbon by 2050, he said.
    • And he pledged the government will defend people who come to the UK legally but end "lethal trade" of human trafficking
    • Conservatives "will defend our history and cultural inheritance" against "cancel culture", he added.
  13. Is £3,000 teacher premium a new idea?


    The only new policy announcement in Boris Johnson's speech was a promise to introduce "a levelling up premium of up to £3,000 to send the best maths and science teachers to the places that need them most".

    The BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg says: "The idea behind the "'levelling up premium' is that people who want to be science teachers would be able to apply early on in their teaching career for extra cash, if they go and teach in an area where the Department for Education believes more science teachers are needed.

    "It looks almost identical to a scheme that had already existed where people were able to apply for early payments of £5,000 to be maths teachers, and less in different subjects.

    "So we are still awaiting complete clarity, but the suggestion is they are actually reintroducing something the Department for Education got rid of.

    "But the government does say a new £60m will be spent on this."

  14. Analysis

    What have we learned?

    Nick Eardley

    Political correspondent

    What did the Boris Johnson's speech tell us about how he wants to govern - and stay in power?

    He's relentlessly optimistic. The prime minister wants a new economic model with better pay and conditions. He wants to persuade voters his is the party to distribute wealth and opportunity more evenly across the UK. He wants people to feel good about the future.

    Levelling up is a slogan ministers have repeated throughout this conference - and will continue to in the coming months in the run-up to, eventually, an election. We only got a little bit of meat on the bones today with the announcement of money to get the best teachers in schools in disadvantaged areas.

    The prime minister also wants people to feel proud to be British. He spoke about "spirit" - the things he thinks the public like about the United Kingdom. Many Conservatives love Johnson because he makes them feel good - it's a strategy that is key to understanding his success as a politician.

    Will it be enough?

    Despite the overwhelming positivity here, there are some difficult months ahead for many people. Rising prices, supply chain issues, the end of the universal credit uplift and furlough. Many Conservatives acknowledge the cost of living squeeze and are worried about the impact.

    But the hope in this hall this afternoon was that Boris Johnson's unflinchingly upbeat vision of a post-Brexit, post-pandemic Britain is as popular with voters as it is with Tory activists.

  15. 'We will hold PM to his promises'

    Jennifer Scott

    Political reporter, BBC News

    Marcia Da Costa
    Image caption: Marcia Da Costa approved of the PM's praise for the NHS, but says he must deliver on his promises

    Marcia Da Costa also welcomes the "positivity" from the party leader.

    "I volunteered for the NHS during these tough times and they went through so much," she says.

    "It believe in the NHS, it is golden, and it was good to hear him talk so passionately about it."

    But she issued a warning too that the PM has to deliver on his words.

    "[Johnson] has made promises to the NHS now," adds Marcia. "And we will hold him to that promise and hold him to account."

  16. A lot of jokes and gags - but not much policy

    Vicki Young

    Deputy Political Editor

    We all know Boris Johnson likes to entertain people.

    That was a speech to entertain the crowd here.

    A lot of jokes and gags, but nothing much in the way of policy.

    That is partly because we have a Budget coming up - that is when you are going to hear a slightly different message.

    Johnson prides himself on his optimistic outlook.

    The problem is there might be some people who feel that jars with what is going on in their lives.

  17. Reality Check

    "48 new hospitals, 50,000 more nurses"

    It’s not clear exactly what constitutes a "new" hospital, as the government's pledge that Boris Johnson repeated in his speech includes refurbishments of existing hospitals. The pledge is for the hospitals to be built by 2030, so it’s very much a work in progress.

    So far, construction has begun at six sites. One is a new cancer hospital in Bath. The other five are hospital builds planned under pre-existing schemes over the last decade, including building work that stopped after the collapse of the construction firm Carillion.

    The Conservatives promised 50,000 more nurses for England by March 2025. The latest figures show there were 310,251 full-time equivalent NHS nurses and health visitors in June 2021. While that is up 14,158 since December 2019, it still leaves 35,842 full-time equivalent posts to fill over the next three-and-a-half years.

    You can read more about how the Conservatives are getting on with meeting some of these pledges here.

  18. Strong speech or bluster and buffonery - MPs react to PM's speech

    Boris and Carrie Johnson

    Labour's Sarah Champion says Boris Johnson’s conference speech "had plenty of jokes but lacked any solutions - it’s disgraceful there was no mention of the petrol crisis, court backlogs, NHS backlogs or the cost of living."

    Lib Dem Alistair Carmichael says of the speech "everything about it suggests that he believes they are untouchable and beyond real world accountability."

    "Thank god that’s over," says the SNP's Pete Wishart, adding: "Bluster, buffoonery, beavers and burgers - let’s build back a Scotland without him."

    But, Conservative James Morris welcomes "a strong speech".

    "We were elected in 2019 on a mandate to level up areas that have been left behind, and despite the challenges of Covid-19 we are building back better and getting on with the job," he says.