Page last updated at 13:09 GMT, Thursday, 8 October 2009 14:09 UK

The Full Story: Cameron's speech

David Cameron's speech in full

ANALYSIS: By Ben Wright
Ben Wright

"Why us, why now, why me?" They are the questions David Cameron and his party have tried to answer this week. From the Tory leader came a very personal explanation about why he's in politics and why he wants power. He left the cheering hall to a thumping rendition of "I'm a Believer" after telling the conference that he wants every child to have the chances he had. His personal experience was woven into the politics. He pledged to put Britain back on its feet and fix what he's dubbed the broken economy, the broken society and broken politics. He condemned big government with a force that was reminiscent of a Republican Party convention. But his political priorities couldn't have been further away. In a passage that will be re-played many times and will rile Labour, he angrily looked straight into the television camera lens and said it wasn't the "wicked Tories" who failed the poor but Labour. Read Ben's full analysis

AS IT HAPPENED: By Victoria King
1631 Well, it's time to wrap things up here. Thank you very much for your contributions by e-mail, text and twitter. We hope you've enjoyed all our coverage of conference season - we'll be back with live commentary on Prime Minister's questions on Wednesday. Hope you can join us then.

1619 Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mr Cameron hasn't won over the unions. Dave Prentis, from Unison, says that in spite of "the rhetoric and his moral crusade... the Tories are still stuck in the Thatcher era".

e-mail sent in by reader
He's ticking all my boxes so far, supporting on the one hand and saving where he can! Good for DC!!
Darren, Hertford

1616 The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg says it was striking how much Mr Cameron talked about his own family. She says that even some members of the shadow Cabinet may have been surprised by that.

e-mail sent in by reader
Terrible speech. Did big government mean we had to bailout the banks? No, it was because Tory and Labour governments let the banks take too many risks with our money. Cameron's an idiot.
Daniel Jackson, Wales

e-mail sent in by reader
A brilliant piece of sustained rhetoric, which was clearly heartfelt. I applaud you David Cameron.
AlphaLimaCharlie, Bristol, UK

1615 David and Samantha Cameron leave the Midland Hotel, presumably to head back to their West London home. There's a wave as he says to onlookers, "We're ready for the election."

jenna1590 tweets: A solid speech with some inspirational moments

Alista1r tweets: Personally, I'd have gone for the Groucho classic "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.

1555 Apparently George Osborne was speaking the truth - it turns out the conference stage and press hall is being dismantled at pace because a large number of hairdressers are about to descend on the conference hall for an event. Cutting it fine...

e-mail sent in by reader
It was encouraging to hear a political leader talking about accountability for once. Public sector workers should stop complaining about pay freezes. My pay and most of the people I know working in the private sector have had their pay frozen, and in many cases reduced.
Alex Brunning, London

e-mail sent in by reader
Fantastic speech. He WILL make a fantastic Prime Minister! Good Luck Dave!
sol, Salisbury, Wilts

1554 Shadow work and pensions secretary Theresa May agrees with my earlier observation - "It was indeed a speech about responsibility," she tells the BBC.

1554 There are loud bangs and clatters in the BBC studio at the end of Mr Osborne's interview. "I hear they're dismantling the conference hall already," he jokes.

1554 "It was all about belief," George Osborne tells the BBC. But he sidesteps a question about whether he is bad cop to David Cameron's good cop. "In the end, it's not just about policy, it's about character," he says.

e-mail sent in by reader
"1538 Matthew d'Ancona tells the BBC's Emily Maitlis there was a philosophical tension at the heart of the speech. Mr Cameron tore apart the role of government, said it was the cause of so many of Britain's problems, but then at the same time asked to lead that government." ... No, he asked to lead the ALTERNATIVE to that abject failure in the role of government.
Seamus from Bracknell, Warsaw, Poland

Laura Kuenssberg
1541 The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg is speaking to delegates outside the conference hall. "It was brilliant, it was a mission statement," says one. "Good on him," says another. "It gave the country a real message of hope," says a third.

Howupsetting tweets: "we will reward those who take responsibility". How does freezing the pay of someone on £18,001 fit into this?

1538 Matthew d'Ancona, until recently The Spectator's editor, tells the BBC's Emily Maitlis there was a philosophical tension at the heart of the speech. On the one hand, Mr Cameron tore apart the role of government, said it was the cause of so many of Britain's problems, but then at the same time asked to lead that government.

Never liked the Conservatives, but find myself drawn to David Cameron - his speech was impressive, and more honest than Brown's last week.
Emma Miles, Basingstoke, UK

mikesnow9 tweets: Someone should tell Cameron his mic's still live...

1535 The whole speech was just under an hour. Earlier, Mr Cameron said he'd had to do a bit of trimming to cut it down. I wonder what he left out... by the way it's his birthday tomorrow, he's going to be 43. For students of newspaper birthdays columns he was born 24 hours after footballer Tony Adams.

1531 The microphone is still on and we're getting to hear all of Mr Cameron's "thank yous" as he winds his way out of the hall. He tells one member of the audience: "I really enjoyed giving that speech. It was so much what I wanted to say." The camera cuts to George Osborne and an especially pensive-looking Chris Grayling.

1531From BBC political reporter Brian Wheeler: Music malfunction! There was an awkward silence as the opening bars of I'm A Believer stalled. It's OK now - but why is it the Vic Reeves version? What happened to the Monkees?

Samantha Cameron
1530 Mr Cameron finishes with a big climax - when things do get better, it will not be government that did it - it will be YOU. He then climbs down onto the floor - and is heard to say to Samantha, "I've come to get you" - and then gets back up onto the stage with her to the dulcet tones of the Monkees, I'm a Believer

1527 Mr Cameron says he can put Britain back on her feet again. He says he can see a better future ahead, even though today there aren't many reasons to be cheerful at the moment. He reels off a long list of good things that he can see in the years to come - if he's elected of course.

1526 From BBC political reporter Brian Wheeler: Yes he neatly sidestepped the Europe issue by playing on William Hague's popularity with delegates, saying he would lead the referendum campaign.

1524 Europe has been a bit tricky this week - Mr Cameron says he wants to work with European partners where it suits - on climate change for example - but bring back powers that the EU shouldn't have. A referendum is mentioned but no talk of ratification.

1521 Mr Cameron says Parliament is in a state of decline after it was turned into a laughing stock by the expenses scandal. He says it's time to shake things up and increase transparency within government.

1519 Britishness, a tricky subject for some. He says if you've got something to offer you can call this place home, yet he also promises limits on economic migration.

1517 From BBC political reporter Brian Wheeler: Is Cameron fighting off a cold? He keeps clearing his throat between passages.

1516 Mr Cameron has said that education is what he'd most like to be remembered for transforming in years to come. He tells conference that means giving state school children everything that private school pupils get. He wants money for schools to make it to the head teachers of schools like his daughter's.

bornagainartist tweets: He's suggesting that everyone who is physically able to work but doesn't is doing so because it's easier to depend on welfare. I'm sorry but I totally disagree. Try living off so little a week and see. Read bornagainartist's tweets.

Ben Wright
1514 From BBC political correspondent Ben Wright: The passage about the Fiona Pilkington case has echoes of Tony Blair's reference to the murder of Jamie Bulger. Both make a broad point about a country going off the rails tied to an individual incident. It's very emotive but risky.

1513 We will be there to protect you, he says, from crime and from terrorism. There is a reference to the IRA bomb planted at the Tory conference 25 years ago.

e-mail sent in by reader
But I do question who will be the driver to reduce poverty - is it government or the market? Governments have always failed - housing estates have always been poor. Government initiatives has made no impact.
Jags, Preston, Lancashire

1512 He talks about the case of Fiona Pilkington - the woman who killed herself and her daughter after years of bullying from local youths. "Just think about what we have allowed to happen in our country," Mr Cameron says. How have we ended up with thugs with a total absence of conscience?

e-mail sent in by reader
I like what he's saying, he's already got my vote, but I hope this isn't too long a 'lecture' for the floating voters.
Edward Bell, London, UK

jenweb tweets:hooray! commitment to carry on sure start. One of the best pieces of news I've heard Read jenweb's tweets.

Ben Wright
1510 From BBC political correspondent Ben Wright: Take that Danniel Hannan. David Cameron says the Tories are the party of the NHS and again ties his personal experience to his political commitment in a passage on the NHS. He does say it needs to change, but again the villain is big government.

CPS:EVENT > 1509 Onto the NHS. Labour has tried to run it like a machine, but it's a living, breathing institution, he says. The Tories will give the NHS back to people - and give doctors back their professional responsibility. There it is again - the R word.
1507 Another personal anecdote, this time to back up the Tories' vow to crack down on those wrongly claiming incapacity benefit. A man called Viv, the Tory leader says, wanted to work, but wasn't allowed because of a limp.

'The modern conservative party' - he might as well write Tony Blair mark ii on his forehead.
Sascha, Ox

Ben Wright
1506 From BBC political correspondent Ben Wright: Another message is driven home. The Conservatives say they're the new progressives in British politics and it's the poorest who've been most let down by the government. In a passage that will be re-played many times and will rile Labour an angry David Cameron looks straight into the camera lens and says it's not the "wicked tories" who've failed the poor but Labour.

1505 We have got to stop treating adults like children and children like adults, he says. Big round of applause for that one. It's that word again, "responsibility".

1503 Apologies, the M&S dress was £65 I'm told, not £55 - and from the summer collection just gone. Lucky it's nice and sunny in Manchester today I guess.

1502 David Cameron gets more passionate about poverty: How dare Labour lecture the Tories about poverty after what they've done, he say.

1459 Broken Britain again. Poverty, crime, sink estates. He wants the Tories to get angry - and they do, as it happens, by standing up in their scores - about the government draining away money from Britain's poorest people. And he announces Iain Duncan Smith will be put in charge of fixing the broken society under a Conservative government.

1459 I'm told by an eagle-eyed colleague that Samantha's dress was £55 from Marks and Spencer.

mrpower tweets: Unlike Brown's speech this is aimed much more at the electorate rather than rousing the party in the hall. Read mrpower's tweets.

Ben Wright
1457 From BBC political correspondent Ben Wright: Reducing the size of the state has been a key conference theme. David Cameron's team is now confident that its anti-big government message now resonates with voters. While Labour last week stood up for the state, the Tories are now saying something very different. It's the big divide. But getting rid of quangos and Whitehall waste is one thing. Successive governments have ended up centralising power and expanding the state, even if they started with small-state intentions. Will the Tories be different? How will they do it? There's a lot we don't know.

1456 "Self-belief is infectious and I want it to spread again through our country," Mr Cameron says, as he talks about encouraging business and entrepreneurship. "Success stories are everywhere" - dare the conference believe that includes his own potential success next May?

paulfi: I think Cameron was trying to say the national deficit was caused by big government
Tim, Dunedin, New Zealand

e-mail sent in by reader
Getting Sir Gen Dannatt on side will get them 100,000 extra votes as us soldiers will happily work knowing someone finally has our back at the top. someone decent with integrity that will not bowl over to Cameron.
Keith Howell, Waterbeach, UK

1453 Personal anecdote time, about two pensioners struggling to cope. They can't keep warm, their savings are making no money and if one dies they'll lose their home. It is these people, he says, that will be helped by the Tories' decision to raise the pension age faster than Labour.

Quite a nice line: "laws so complex…even their own Attorney General doesn't understand them"
Sunil Prasannan, London, UK

paulfi tweets: The economic crisis was caused by big government - really? is ANYONE going to buy that? Read paulfi's tweets.

Ben Wright
1448 From BBC political correspondent Ben Wright: A very personal part of the speech, David Cameron touches on the death of his son Ivan. He goes on to explain what prompted him to be in politics in the first place. Pre-empting Labour's flirtation with a campaign that might knock his privileged background, David Cameron says he's been lucky and wants every child to have the chances he had.

1448 We have three choices to deal with debt, he says. Default on it, encourage inflation to wipe it out or pay it back. No prizes for guessing which one he favours. And we must do it now, he insists.

1445 Family, community, country and responsibility. I think they're are going to be the buzz words heard again in this speech

1444 A nod to some of Labour's achievements - civil partnerships, the minimum wage, devolution - but followed by a long list of bureaucracy that has come with them. So much red tape, he says, that even the attorney general can't keep up.

amcronald tweets:DC saying how Ivan's death made him even more determined to want to get on with leading Read amcronald's tweets.

1442 Altogether quieter mood as David Cameron alludes to the death of his son Ivan earlier this year. His world stopped turning, he says, with a slight stumble. But he says he knows what sustains him - Samantha. As the camera cuts to her, she smiles.

e-mail sent in by reader
This speech is the 'anti-President' speech i.e Dave Cameron saying 'Tory Government is about all of us, not me'.
Rhys Jaggar, London

e-mail sent in by reader
Cameron's opposed troop reinforcements for years. He opposed most of the extra troops brown sent in. Is honesty for Cameron, just telling people what they want to hear?

1440 Everyone's "chum" Eric Pickles gets a mention - and a clap. Mr Cameron calls George Osborne's conference speech "magnificent".

Ben Wright
1439From BBC political correspondent Ben Wright: Gordon Brown had two lines about Afghanistan in his conference speech. David Cameron has gone straight to it, quashing some conference speculation that Liam Fox may not be in the defence job for long. He gets a strong endorsement from Mr Cameron, who's confirmed the appointment of Richard Dannatt to the Tory defence team.

1437 General Sir Richard Dannatt's appointment is confirmed to warm applause. Then at the leader's request there's a standing ovation for all of the troops in Afghanistan.

1436 On to Afghanistan and a dig at Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth - he's "a second-rate substitute", says David Cameron. Under a Conservative government, we'll have a War Cabinet from day one and will send more troops into the conflict zone.

1434 As Ben says there's sunshine from the start: "We all know things are bad", he says, but he wants to talk about "how good things could be".

Ben Wright
1433 From BBC political correspondent Ben Wright: Continuing the "honest Dave" theme of the week, Cameron says let's not beat about the bush. The next few years are going to be tough. There's an implied contrast with Gordon Brown who Mr Cameron consistently charges with being loose with the truth. But after a week of grim truths from his team this sounds like it's going to be a sunny message about what waits on the other side.

Samantha Cameron
1432 He's off. David Cameron walks on stage to a standing ovation - he's carrying notes, so it looks like another off-the-cuff performance is out of the question. Big smiles all round.

e-mail sent in by reader
First impressions, very American, very cheesy.
Phil, Bristol

BBCLauraK tweets:Bono turns up in next video! Last week he was praising Gordon Brown - this is a message to party to justify Tory overseas aid promise Read BBCLauraK's tweets.

1430 From BBC political reporter Brian Wheeler: There was a bit of a stunned silence in the hall when Bono appeared on the video screens. It is not that long since the campaigning rock star was appearing at Labour conferences.

Prolonged applause
1429 Now it's time for a David Cameron video montage. Lots of clapping as it picks out his best speeches and PMQ quips, as well as some newspaper headlines and clips from his "webCameron" videos. Oh and yes - it has that Killers soundtrack we predicted...

jamestarbit tweets:Bono! We've got Bono! It's all ok now! Bono! Read jamestarbit's tweets.

olivershah tweets:The pre-Cameron warmup video is like something out of Brass Eye Read olivershah's tweets.

1426 Time for another video - this time it's Bono - haven't we seen him before at the Labour conference? He praises the Tory commitment to keep up Britain's commitments on international aid. It's certainly a bold move getting someone so associated with Gordon Brown and Tony Blair to speak.

1423 Yes the lights have gone down and a rather aggressive dance tune is played. Gordon Brown's face appears alongside a series of negative slogans on the huge video screen. Then the screen goes bright blue, the music lightens and the Tory logo begins to appear. And William Hague comes out to introduce the shadow cabinet.

1419 From BBC political reporter Brian Wheeler: Things are running a little behind schedule here because people are still filing into the hall and taking their seats. There's a 10 minute video before Mr Cameron's speech.

1417 Mr Cameron was due to start speaking at 1415. Looks like he's going to be fashionably late. But Samantha has just arrived to a barrage of flashes from press photographers.

1414 As the hall filled up, music ranged from downbeat Coldplay to more uplifting Gospel. Will Mr Cameron enter - or leave - to something by one of his favourites, The Killers, Radiohead or The Smiths, given it's Manchester? Remember Gordon Brown's choice from last week - M People "Moving on Up".

1413 The BBC's chief political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg says William Hague will be the one to introduce David Cameron. It seems Samantha isn't keen to "do a Sarah" and step into the spotlight.

1412 David and Samantha Cameron walked to the centre from their hotel ten minutes ago. She's gone for a spotty grey dress, he's plumped for a blue tie - naturally. They're certainly doing their best to look relaxed. Mr Cameron said earlier his wife was "trimming" down his speech and taking out the bits she found "boring" - we'll see soon whether it worked.

1412 From BBC political reporter Brian Wheeler: The Tories are pulling out all the stops to set an upbeat mood in the hall. Activists have been taking their seats to the smooth sound of Bill Withers' Lovely Day, ELO's Mr Blue Sky and Good Morning Starshine, from hippy musical Hair.

1408 Hello and welcome to our live commentary of David Cameron's speech. Unlike Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg, his address comes at the very end of conference, so will it have been worth the wait? And will it contain the ray of sunshine - and touch of optimism - that his colleague George Osborne's lacked? We'll soon see.

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific