Will Ed Miliband's deficit slip haunt him?

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Media captionEd Miliband on why the deficit was left out of his conference speech

For just £2 in Manchester you could buy your very own souvenir copy of a speech by a man who wants to be your next prime minister.

A speech which will be remembered for two things - a promise to spend more on the NHS and Ed Miliband's failure to utter a single word about the subject he forgot - the deficit.

When I spoke to the Labour leader this morning, I asked him how big a problem he believed the deficit was.

He replied: "I think it is a problem and it has to come down but I think the biggest problem for our country is that our economy does not work for most working people and only works for a few people at the top - that is the election question."

When I pressed him why it was not "front and centre" of his speech, he said the deficit was a "significant" issue, adding:

"Ed Balls talked this week about our approach on the deficit. I have talked about our approach on the deficit. No one should be in any doubt about my approach on the deficit.

"My approach is clear - we are going to get the deficit down, we are going to get the debt falling and we could not be clearer about that."

Labour unveiled just one new policy to do just that, curbing the rise in child benefit. It will raise roughly one thousandth of the annual deficit.

What stirs this party is not, of course, talk about cutting borrowing but promises to save the NHS.

Today 91 year-old Harry Smith moved delegates to tears with his memories of a time before a free health service when his young sister died because her family couldn't afford to pay for a doctor.

Ed Miliband's new promise to raise taxes on the better-off, the city and tobacco firms to pay for a boost to the NHS budget is just what Harry would have ordered.

Proving that Labour can make a difference is what this week's been about but he knows that the Tories will exploit his failure to talk about the disease still ailing the British patient - too much borrowing.