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Last Updated: Monday, 24 September 2007, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK
At-a-glance: Labour Day One

All you need to know about Day One at the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth.


Gordon Brown says he is a conviction politician who wants to "defend and extend" British values, in his first speech as leader to the Labour party conference.

The prime minister said he could overturn the recent law allowing pubs in England and Wales to open 24 hours a day.

Gordon Brown promises to double the number of "eco-towns" to be built across the UK from five to 10.

Union leaders backed away from a showdown with Gordon Brown because they did not want to ruin his first Labour conference as leader, it has emerged.

Tony Benn has made an impassioned plea to Gordon Brown to give the British people a referendum on the EU treaty.

Jon Cruddas has attacked Immigration Minister Liam Byrne over his "extraordinary" response to Lib Dem calls for an illegal migrant amnesty.

Some 10,000 volunteer sports coaches are to be recruited by the government to teach new skills to youngsters.

Gordon Brown uses his own experience of the NHS when he almost lost his sight to explain why he is a strong believer in the health service.

The prime minister also promises a personal tutor for every secondary school pupil.

Labour's leadership wins backing for changes to voting rules at conference after an expected showdown with the unions failed to materialise.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw warns lawyers that legal aid bills have to come down.

Tory defector Quentin Davies urges other MPs to "take the plunge" and join Labour.

The lack of women councillors across Britain is a "disgrace", Communities Secretary Hazel Blears has said.

Chancellor Alistair Darling says there are "lessons to be learnt" following the Northern Rock bank crisis.

Labour is ready to fight a general election campaign - whenever it comes, says Douglas Alexander.


0945 - 12.45:
Q&A: James Purnell, Harriet Harman and Hazel Blears
Local Government speaker
Northern Ireland report
Scottish Report: Wendy Alexander

1415 - 1730:
Speech: Gordon Brown
Policy seminars:
Economy and work,
Local government
Culture and sport


  • He once boasted that he liked to get up to the Arctic Monkeys, but at his first conference as Labour leader, Gordon Brown showed he had an even more eclectic taste in music. As delegates jostled for seats to hear his speech, loud speakers played out hits from the past three decades. Among the discs on DJ Brown's turntable were: Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough"; Republica's "Ready to Go"; Climie Fisher's "Love Changes Everything"; Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up" and Sam and Dave's "Soul Man". After an address that had some delegates dabbing their eyes, others dancing, the rocking PM left the stage with his wife Sarah to Reef's toe-tapping finale "Put Your Hands On".

  • It could have been a trick of the light, but just as Gordon Brown was about to praise the contribution made by his predecessor Tony Blair, it appeared he had blood on his lower lip. The prime minister seemed not to notice that he may have hurt himself and continued his speech with additional tributes to another Labour leader, Neil Kinnock.

  • Former deputy prime minister John Prescott gave his backing to Gordon Brown's wife Sarah over her battles to keep her hair nice. Having once been stung by press criticism when he and wife Pauline were driven a few hundred yards from their hotel to the conference centre, he defended the Browns' decision to do the same. Mr Prescott said: "Poor old Sarah... A woman wants to come to this conference and feel proud and confident for the party, and yet she doesn't find much sympathy from the women journalists... You all [journalists] will be watching to see who gets in a car and who doesn't get in a car. That's all you do in politics, you guys, from time to time."

  • "A snap election is not a medical term," joked health secretary Alan Johnson, as he toured a Bournemouth hospital. "We are talking about clinical care. Snap elections are nothing to do with it."

  • Gordon Brown will not go short of plaudits this week but here is one he was probably not expecting. Janet Kirk, general secretary of the Labour Party disabled members' group, told delegates: "Can I congratulate Gordon Brown for being the first disabled prime minister, long may we have more." Mr Brown, lest we forget, lost an eye in a teenage rugby accident.

  • Jack Straw might have to watch his step when he appears at a fringe meeting on how the ministry of justice will work later on Monday. His brother, Ed, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, is chairing the panel...


    NATIONAL DEBATE CALL ON ROAD PRICING: Transport Minister Rosie Winterton said she wanted a national debate on whether road pricing was forcing people off the roads and on to public transport. "If we continue with the increase in car use and road use that we have at the moment, we would be talking about something like 5bn worth of investment in our roads, " she said. "Frankly, that does lead us to the conclusion that the status quo is not an option."

    GOVERNMENT 'EXPECTED BLUETONGUE': The government was expecting the arrival of bluetongue disease in Britain, it has emerged. Speaking at a Labour fringe meeting, agriculture minister Lord Rooker told a fringe meeting ministers had been preparing for the possibility for some time. Officials had even mapped out possible dates in the summer when conditions would be just right for midges carrying the disease, he said.

    BLAIR-BROWN HANDOVER 'WITHOUT BITTERNESS': One of Tony Blair's closest allies has been praising Gordon Brown's "maturity" and "strength" since taking over as prime minister. Former Cabinet minister Peter Mandelson told a fringe meeting the changeover had taken place "without bitterness", with Mr Brown maintaining much of the policy agenda set out by his predecessor.


    Gordon Brown
    After 13 years under Tony Blair, Gordon Brown starts his first Labour conference as leader of the party


    I have said before I'm not going to give a running commentary on what my thoughts are on this or that, apart from the policy issues.

    Gordon Brown refuses to rule out calling a snap election.

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