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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 September 2007, 16:32 GMT 17:32 UK
At-a-glance: Lib Dems Day Two
All you need to know about the Liberal Democrat conference 2007: Tuesday

CONFERENCE CATCH-UP

Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg's call for a "selective" amnesty for illegal immigrants is backed by the conference.

The conference backs plans to cut income tax, scrap council tax and increase green taxes.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso tells the Liberal Democrat conference that the European Union "is not full of hidden plots".

Gordon Brown's attempts to recruit politicians from other parties is a "threat to democracy", Lib Dem Treasury spokesman Vince Cable warns.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage is barracked by delegates at a fringe meeting as he backs Sir Menzies Campbell's call for an EU referendum.

TODAY'S AGENDA

Tuesday 18th September

09.00 Making Planning Local, Rewarding Community Housing

09.40 Reducing the Burden (Tax Reform Policy Paper)

11.10 Speech: Norman Lamb MP

11.30 Immigration in the 21st Century

14.20 Urgent Issue

14.50 Speech: Michael Moore MP

15.10 Freedom from Poverty, Opportunity for All (Poverty and Inequality Policy Paper)

16.40 Citizenship and Identity

CONFERENCE DIARY

  • The battle of the Lib Dem badges is hotting up, with a new leader in the popularity stakes. According to staff at the conference gift shop, 30 badges bearing the face of former health spokesman Evan Harris have been sold. Those showing home affairs spokesman Tim Farron are the second most popular, selling 29. Which might peeve his boss - Nick Clegg - who was leading the race on Monday and is now in third place. Our man at the stall said: "There's no obvious rhyme or reason for Evan Harris' success. But a lot of ladies of a certain age have been buying Tim Farron badges - they say he's quite cute."

  • Delegates walking past the Brighton Centre were surprised to be handed the gift of a sapling silver birch tree in a bag. When asked how big they grow, the man distributing them on behalf of the Freight Transport Association replied: "As big as your heart." But the Brighton Centre security guards were more circumspect, warning not to plant the saplings - which grow to about 30 metres in height - too near a house.

  • Could Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell be attempting to send shivers down the spines of his frontbench team? At an event for local councillors, who made short work of the free wine and sandwiches, Sir Menzies was handed a knife to cut the celebratory cake. Braveheart-like, he held it aloft, declaring: "I was fascinated by this extraordinary knife - it made me think immediately about having a reshuffle."

    FRINGE ROUND-UP

    FAMILIES 'NEED BETTER UNDERSTANDING': A lack of understanding between parents and children could contribute to the radicalisation of young Muslims, Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg argued. He and Mohammed Abdul-Bari of the Muslim Council of Britain talked about ways of reaching out to communities in Britain. Mr Clegg said he did not see the same cohesion between generations that he saw when he visited his wife's family in Spain. Dr Bari argued that modern life was leading to individualism, which was contributing to problems. He said parents who had to go out to work were not able to nurture their children in the same way.
    Joanna Shinn

    PARTY 'TOO OLD AND WHITE': A panel of young people has told the Liberal Democrats they are too old, too white - and that they need to do more to capture voters' imagination. At a fringe meeting, six youths gave their first impressions of the party conference. One said the amount of grey hair in the audience was "a surprise", adding he was "stunned" by what he saw as pre-prepared questions and answers.
    Joanna Shinn

    COALITION CALLS DISMISSED: Two Liberal Democrats identified as possible successors to Sir Menzies Campbell have dismissed Gordon Brown's "big tent" politics and played down the possibility of entering into coalition with any other party after the next election. Environment spokesman Chris Huhne and home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg were speaking at a fringe meeting organised by the Independent. Mr Clegg said the prime minister "projected an image of pluralism" but kept a "firm, sweaty grasp on power". Both men defended the leadership's call for a referendum on Britain's membership of the European union but not for one on the new EU treaty.
    Mark Sanders

    ARMED SERVICES 'DESERVE BETTER': Defence spokesman Nick Harvey accused the government of presiding over a "breakdown in the duty of care" owed to the armed forces. A meeting heard that accommodation for servicemen and women was poorly maintained, while combat equipment was not good enough. Mr Harvey said: "It's important that we think about and support and recognise the commitment, bravery and dedication and professionalism of servicemen and women." The call comes after the British Legion launched a campaign for the Military Covenant - which guarantees soldiers fair treatment in return for forgoing other rights - to be upheld better by ministers.
    Justin Parkinson

    GREEN TAXES 'MUST CHANGE BEHAVIOUR': Treasury spokesman Vince Cable said one of his biggest challenges was "how to sell environmental taxes to the general public". He said green taxes must not contribute to higher levels of tax, adding: "This is not to raise money but to change behaviour". Mr Cable also said the Lib Dems could offer "more challenging" policies on vehicle excise duty, and think about doing more to give people driving old cars an incentive to replace them with greener ones.
    Rajini Vaidyanathan

    EATING DISORDERS: Relationships with friends and families are a bigger factor in creating girls' eating disorders than the influence of celebrity role models, research suggests. A Liberal Democrat conference fringe meeting organised by Girl Guiding UK heard that children as young as eight were suffering problems.
    Rajini Vaidyanathan

    PHOTO OF THE DAY

    Sir Menzies Campbell
    Sir Menzies gets some fresh air on a visit to a green housing project

    QUOTE OF THE DAY

    "The house that Gordon Built may not be built on sand but it has certainly been built on a floodplain." Treasury spokesman Vince Cable on Gordon Brown's handling of the economy


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