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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 September 2007, 07:04 GMT 08:04 UK
At-a-glance: Lib Dems Day Three
All you need to know about the Liberal Democrat conference 2007: Wednesday

CONFERENCE CATCH-UP

Sir Menzies Campbell dismisses stories about a possible successor.

Home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg admits a "blemish" in his youth.

The party calls for a "comprehensive" new constitutional settlement

Home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg has said he would probably stand for the party leadership in the future.

Lady Elspeth steps in to defend her husband Sir Menzies amid the fresh bout of leadership speculation.

London mayoral hopeful Brian Paddick says he was an "undercover" Liberal Democrat during his time with the Metropolitan Police.

The government should pay for children from poor backgrounds to go to top public schools, Lib Dem deputy leader Vince Cable has said.

Lib Dem activists have called on the leadership to consider introducing a "plastic bag tax" despite warnings that it could drive up carbon emissions.

Lembit Opik clashes with Sarah Teather on the merits of personality politics.

TODAY'S AGENDA

Wednesday 19th September

09.00 Taking Action to Tackle Excess Packaging

09.30 Presentation: Alliance Party of Northern Ireland

09.50 For the People, By the People (Better 39 Governance Policy Paper)

11.10 Speech: David Laws MP

11.30 Emergency Motion - guns and gangs

12.00 Party Awards

Speech: Simon Hughes MP

14.20 Accounting for the Environment

14.50 Speech by Lynne Featherstone MP

15.10 Q&A Session on Climate Change

16.10 Speech: Susan Kramer MP

16.30 Israel and the Palestinian Territories

17.30 Urgent Issue - government provision for armed forces

CONFERENCE DIARY

  • Lib Dem Youth and Students are causing no end of confusion with their latest lapel badge, which proudly bears the slogan "homophobia is gay". Gay is now a general term of dissaproval among Britain's yoof, explains a young Lib Dem - but that has not stopped older party members seeing red at the slogan. "That is exactly the sort of thing we are supposed to be fighting against," said one.

  • The Lib Dem heavyweights are on top in the gift shop popularity contest. With a day of conference left to go, 34 badges featuring home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg have been sold. He is closely followed by party leader Sir Menzies Campbell and environment spokesman Chris Huhne - both on 32. But our man at the stall reports a bizarre demand by some delegates. "Seven or eight people have come in asking for badges of [former Labour home secretary] John Reid," he said.

  • 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.

    FRINGE ROUND-UP

    LAWS 'BULLIED AT SCHOOL': Lib Dem education spokesman David Laws revealed he had been bullied at primary school. He told a fringe meeting organised by the NSPCC: "I was about age five or so. There was a guy in the year above who was a bit of a big guy and he started picking on me." The bully threatened to "duff up" the future MP for Yeovil, but the intimidation "didn't last very long". Mr Laws, who lists rugby among his hobbies, said he had fought back, adding: "My final memory, from when I was a year older, was that he tried to bully a friend of mine and I just went up to the bully and I thumped him hard."
    Justin Parkinson

    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

    PHOTO OF THE DAY

    Charles Kennedy
    Charles Kennedy receives a rapturous reception from delegates

    QUOTES OF THE DAY

    "If there was a vacancy in the future then I probably would," home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg on the party leadership.

    "I am not appalled by photographs of this kind. What is appalling about two young people who are obviously very affectionate towards each other?," Sir Menzies Campbell on "cheeky boy" Lembit Opik's Hello! spread.


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