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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 October 2006, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Conservative conference at-a-glance
All you need to know about the 2006 Conservative conference:


David Cameron wraps up the conference by telling the Conservative Party that the National Health Service is his central priority.

Shadow minister Boris Johnson gets an endorsement from David Cameron, who says during his speech the Conservatives, unlike New Labour, do not mind people "going off message".

Shadow chancellor George Osborne says he is ready to take on Conservatives who are demanding tax cuts with the pledge: "We will not back down."

The UK underestimates the threat to its future security posed by Russia, shadow defence secretary Liam Fox has warned.

Parliament should get the final say on sending British troops to war, says shadow foreign secretary William Hague.

David Cameron's attempt to harness the power of the internet through his Webcameron blog has led to opponents setting up a spoof rival site.

English MPs must have the final say on laws which affect England alone in this post-devolution era, according to Conservative leader David Cameron.

Conservative chairman Francis Maude has apologised after hundreds of people had to queue for hours to get into the party's conference in Bournemouth.


Boris Johnson has taken a swipe at Jamie Oliver's school dinners campaign saying the pressure on children to eat healthy food is "too much".

A charity has criticised George Osborne after he appeared to suggest Gordon Brown could be "faintly autistic".

The number of Tory MPs who want to withdraw from the EU is growing, claims Euro-sceptic MP Philip Davies.

Civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabati, in an apparent attack on Labour leadership hopeful John Reid, called for an end to the "pit bull posturing of home secretaries who would be king".


No wonder David Cameron wants to scrap ID cards. If the almighty scrum on Sunday as delegates and journalists queued up to get their passes is anything to go by, handing out little plastic cards with personal details on them might not be the party's forte. Party workers were blaming the police but that was little consolation for the hundreds of activists who missed Mr Cameron's big opening speech. Let's hope the decision to send out Iain Duncan Smith to cheer them up, worked.

The text messages that flash up on the screen from delegates in the main hall are an endless source of amusement. "The state must not control our people" declared one delegate during the crime debate, while another had more local concerns: "Police should spend more time on the streets in Plymouth". But our favourite remains "Jamie Oliver in the Cabinet. Pukka".

Ann Widdecombe is not one to fish for compliments but she looked disappointed when interviewed by the BBC's Jon Sopel. She readily agreed when Sopel asked if he could make a personal comment. It turned out he wanted to wish her happy birthday - she thought he was going to congratulate her on losing weight - but thanked him nonetheless.

Shadow trade secretary Alan Duncan - in an interview for the BBC Daily Politics programme - said: "A few months ago David Cameron said everyone in the shadow cabinet will also have a city. I've got Tyneside and I've been up there a few times and I absolutely love it and I'm going to really concentrate it on it in the next few months." Tyneside, of course, is not a city, but an area of the North East of England which contains the cities of Newcastle and Gateshead and the towns of North and South Shields.


Conservativehome's 10 reflections on the week: (1) This conference tipped the party a little closer to the balanced conservatism that ConservativeHome champions. (2) The announcements vacuum was dangerous. (3) The tax cuts row... George Osborne┐s very well delivered speech offered enough hope to the tax-cuttersbut this issue isn┐t going to go away. (4) The Tories are being taken seriously again on the international stage. (5) But are the Tories taking international issues seriously? (6) David Cameron is leading a united team. (7) The A-list injustice continues to bubble away. (8) The accreditation chaos - there should be a full inquiry so it never happens again. (9) A community centre has been built. (10) Cameron continues to play a long game. Over time David Cameron must use the trust he is building within the electorate to offer voters the kind of reassurance they need on tax, crime and other traditional issues. He certainly deserves Tory members┐ patience as he plots his difficult course.

From Iain Dale's Diary: I'm typing this as I listen to David Cameron's speech. I'm impressed. OK most of you might expect me to be. Some of you might even expect me to say I was even if I wasn't. I particularly liked the opening few lines about Boris. Especially the bit where he said "We're not New Labour. We don't mind if people go off message." I'm sure I caught Tim Montgomerie of ConservativeHome smiling at that stage... I of course wouldn't do such a thing. Oh no.

From Dizzy Thinks: It's fair to say that over the past ten years Labour have successfully defined us as the "previous Government" - both in the minds of the electorate and ourselves. At this Conference that veil was lifted so rather than us being the previous Government reminiscing, we're now an Opposition preparing for the opportunity of Government.

From Paul Linford's blog: David Cameron's speech... was notable for one rather breathakingly audacious move - an attempt to steal Labour's historic mantle as the party of the NHS.... Normally such an initiative would be doomed to failure. But these are not normal times... a Government which came into power to "save" the NHS has ended up closing hospitals. Don't get me wrong. I still think DC is essentially a jumped-up PR man who deserves to be smashed out of sight in a style v substance election against Gordon Brown in three years' time. But by highlighting the NHS as an issue on which Labour is now deservedly vulnerable, he has done his cause no harm at all.

UKIPhome says: Labour's heart was in the right place, but as we know, just throwing money at a problem does not solve a problem, it just makes it an expensive problem.... some reality kicked in and Labour finally had to get tough and start to ensure that the NHS kept within budget.... then along came David Cameron with... an official campaign to stop the overspend/cuts. That is why UKIPHome is issuing a Public Wealth Warning against David Cameron. Even if deep down, Cameron does want low taxes, in order to fund his declared plans, taxes will be heading in just one direction, and it will not be down.


Boris Johnson faces the media scrum
Boris Johnson was besieged by the media scrum after his comments about Jamie Oliver. It was the most read BBC News website story of the entire political party conference season


"I don't think that announcing policies in a rush amounts to substance. Real substance is about taking time to think things through, not trotting out easy answers that people might want to hear."
David Cameron, in his end of conference speech, seeks to counter accusations over style vs substance

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