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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
At-a-glance: Labour conference

All you need to know about the 2007 Labour Party conference in Bournemouth.

CONFERENCE CATCH-UP

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.

Home Office Security Minister Tony McNulty has admitted the government made mistakes in response to the 7 July 2005 bomb attacks in London.

Mariella Frostrup, not normally known as a pushover, seemed to come over all unnecessary when she hosted a question-and-answer session with the prime minister at the Labour conference.

Education Secretary Ed Balls tells Labour's conference the exam system in England is to be put in the hands of an independent watchdog to counter criticism that GCSEs and A-levels are getting easier.

Labour treasurer Jack Dromey tells the party's conference he is confident it is ready for a general election, as he outlines the state of its finances.

Lord Tebbit says Gordon Brown's move to be seen as "heir to Thatcher" shows his "political nous".

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith tells a fringe meeting the time has come to look again at extending the 28-day limit on holding terrorism suspects.

British history should be rewritten to make it "more inclusive", says Trevor Phillips, the head of the new human rights and equality commission.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband pledges to "learn the right lessons" from the "successes and the scars" of the Tony Blair years.

Health Secretary Alan Johnson fleshes out the pledge to tailor a personal health service for the 21st century in his keynote conference speech.

A showdown between the unions and Labour leadership over closure plans for factories employing disabled people appears to have been averted.

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.

The conference ends with the BBC learning that Labour has begun recruiting people who would play an integral role in any forthcoming general election campaign.

CONFERENCE DIARY

Labour conference prayer room
The perfect venue for a bit of election planning?

  • Have Labour delegates found the perfect venue for a bit of secret election planning away from the prying eyes of the media? Or is the sign we discovered on the conference prayer room - asking delegates not to use it for meetings - merely a precautionary measure?

  • Labour MP Barbara Follett says she was rather surprised to get the call in July from Gordon Brown that he wanted her to be the new women's minister - because it meant she would be the oldest member of the government. "Women of about almost 65 (her birthday is in December) are usually thinking about bus passes... although I have already got that," she quipped. But, Mrs Follett - who is married to millionaire author Ken Follett - says she is more than up to the job. "If you have brought up six children as I have, boy can you manage a serious workload."

  • It seems Ben Bradshaw likes to take a relaxed approach to the rigours of live broadcasting. The health minister kicked off his shoes as he spoke to the nation from the BBC's conference studios which, as ever, are located in a converted underground car park. "I always do it," says Mr Bradshaw. "It's the Sandie Shaw look."

    Ben Bradshaw
    Ben Bradshaw opts for the "Sandie Shaw look"

  • "I'm a post-hedonist metropolitan", said culture secretary James Purnell at a fringe meeting on cultural identity. We don't know what it means either...

  • Cabinet Office Minister Ed Miliband says he has been the victim of media bias during the Labour party conference - as a result of Sky News' tongue-in-cheek game of Top Trumps. Under the rules, the broadcaster scores individual front benchers on charisma, looks and Parliamentary skills. Mr Miliband says he has not fared very well in comparison with his brother, David, the foreign secretary. At a fringe meeting he complained: "Not only do I lose in relation to parliamentary skills and charisma, but also in relation to looks - so I am outraged." And the news does not get any better. "We both lose to George Osborne (Tory shadow chancellor) on all of these characteristics, which is totally unbelievable."

    FRINGE HIGHLIGHTS

    MUSLIM COUNCIL 'DOES STERLING JOB' At the fringe discussing 10 years of the Muslim Council of Britain, its chair Dr Mohammed Abdul Bari said that "terrrorism is inhuman" and that we all sink or swim together. He added that the media had been "relentlessly hostile" since the 7th July attacks. But he said that attacks carried out in the name of Islam were not just a Muslim issue. He made the point that the 7/7 bombers may have been Muslims, but they were Britons as well. Labour MP Sadiq Khan teased the audience over the ongoing election fever referring to "the general election next month... or whenever it is they're called". He added that while all organisations have flaws, the Muslim Council of Britain was doing "a sterling job". Joanna Shinn

    MINISTER BACKS GANGS EXIT STRATEGY At a fringe meeting to discuss gun and knife crime, the father of murdered 10 year old Damilola Taylor said people who get involved in offences are disgruntled about things in society - and it's that society needs to address. Eighteen-year-old Lhamea Lall, the Youth Board Chair of Kids Count, talked of being bullied and receiving a death threat via her website. She said her school and the police didn't address either issue - and cash being spent on the Olympics should be spent on facilities for young people instead. Mike Jervis, from Defending Da Hood - a group which encourages mediation between rival gangs - said the authorities need to change their thinking on projects which discourage black-on-black violence. Home office minister Vernon Coaker said most young people are decent, and growing up in difficult times. He backed early intervention and exit strategies for those who want to leave gangs. Joanna Shinn

    GOVERNMENT 'WILL HIT AID TARGETS' Douglas Alexander said he was flying to New York for two days of meeting with the UN and the Clinton Foundation on development goals. He said he was confident his international development department would get enough cash in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review to keep the UK on track to meet its target of 0.7% of gross national product spent on aid each year. He also criticised the Conservatives' recent policy commission report on development, saying many of the aid agencies who had praised were only doing so because they had contributed to it. He said the Tory report was "incoherent". Brian Wheeler

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK

    Gordon Brown
    Gordon Brown seeks inspiration from Rodin as he ponders an early election

    QUOTE OF THE WEEK

    Charming as you are, Mariella, but the first person I would have to talk to is the Queen

    Gordon Brown to Mariella Frostrup on a snap election





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