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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 October 2007, 21:19 GMT 22:19 UK
At-a-glance: Tory conference

All you need to know the 2007 Conservative Party conference in Blackpool.


David Cameron says he wants the Conservatives to inspire people with a message of optimism and hope for Britain's future in the "new world".

Gordon Brown will show "political cowardice" if he does not call a snap general election, says William Hague.

A voluntary citizen service for 16-year-olds would help "recapture what national service did" in the 1950s, says the shadow children's secretary.

Labour's "patronising" attitude to ethnic minorities comes under attack from Conservative community cohesion spokesman Lady Warsi.

The Tories promise "a revolution" in the way energy is produced and supplied, with incentives to encourage people and firms to "go green".

Ex-Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith appeared close to tears as his speech on social justice got the longest ovation yet at this year's party conference in Blackpool.

Gordon Brown is accused of "cynical pre-election politics" over his visit to British forces in Iraq.

Immigration would be "substantially lower" under a Conservative government, shadow home secretary David Davis says

The Conservatives would change the law every time there was a proposal to hand more power to the EU, says William Hague.

Gordon Brown's fears for the UK economy will be behind any decision to call an early election, says former chancellor Ken Clarke

Shadow chancellor George Osborne pledges to cut inheritance tax in a speech to the Conservative conference in Blackpool.

The Conservatives say they would scrap Home Information Packs, end "garden grabbing" by developers and cut stamp duty if they won a general election.


  • Former leader Iain Duncan Smith received a three minute standing ovation for his speech on the broken society. There were tears in the quiet man's eyes, our spies in the hall tell us.

  • William Hague appeared to make a dig a the Conservative defector Quentin Davis, and the Tory MPs advising Gordon Brown, John Bercow and Patrick Mercer, at a fringe event. When mobile phone signals interfered with the microphones, Mr Hague said it could not be his phone because he had turned it off. "If Gordon Brown phones to offer me a job I won't be able to take it," said the shadow foreign secretary, hastily adding: "Of course, I wouldn't take it anyway."

    Conservative post card
    The saucy seaside post card is alive and well

  • Good to see the Conservatives have not abandoned all of the great traditions of the English seaside. The party may have cancelled its order for Blackpool rock with the words "David Cameron" running through it, claiming it was not "modern" enough - but they have revived another seaside favourite - the saucy post card. "Why don't we get married love," says a callow young man to his suitably buxom girlfriend on one card. "Not likely - no girl wants Gordon Brown getting his hands on her tax credits!" Oo-er, missus...

  • Rock update: There is David Cameron rock after all. It's just that it's not in stick form. The press office is handing out bite-sized pieces of rock candy with the party leader's name embedded in it. Perfect for the age of sound bite politics!

  • Another of the media team's wheezes is a beer mat spoofing the Stella Artois lager commercials. It says: "Gordon Brown: Disturbingly expensive". There are also "Same Old Labour, Same Old Spin" yo-yos on offer.

  • Anyone fearing for the future of the Union can sleep soundly in their beds, according to Sir Malcolm Rifkind. All great liberation movements have an inspirational leader, such as Nelson Mandela and Ghandi, argued the former foreign secretary. "Who have the Scottish National Party got? Alex Salmond".


  • The Conservatives' National Security spokesman, Dame Pauline Neville Jones, has said "intervention in Iraq has failed". She was speaking at a party conference fringe event on security hosted by the BBC World Service. Dame Pauline also argued that Britain had "lost the moral high ground". Turning to the issue of global radicalisation, she said the West is not winning the ideological war but actually losing ground. Radicalisation, she argued, is growing faster than the West's ability to win hearts and minds. Arif Ansari

  • Shadow minister for communities and local government, Paul Goodman, has accused the government of "chaos" in its engagement with British Muslims. He was speaking at a fringe meeting called Islamist Radicalism, which was addressed by a former member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Shiraz Maher, and an ex-IRA member, Sean O'Callaghan. Asked by a member of the audience if the government was appeasing Islamists, Mr Goodman replied "The government isn't consistent enough to appease anyone. They're all over the place on this." Joanna Shinn

  • Henley MP Boris Johnson, the Conservative candidate for London Mayor, repeated his backing for academic selection in schools but said it was not a "winning" proposition. Mr Johnson was speaking at a lunchtime conference fringe entitled "Any Questions?" and organised by the Politeia think tank.

  • Shadow police minister David Ruffley has told a fringe meeting people on Community Service Orders should be made to wear "dayglo pink boiler suits". He added those on CSOs should be given the most grim and 'degrading' jobs to do such as cleaning sewers. The MP also said "Nissen huts", and prison ships should be used to house prisoners if jails were overcrowded. Alicia McCarthy

  • Former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind has called for a "grand committee" of English MPs to decide on England-only issues - rather than sending Scottish and Welsh MPs out of the chamber when votes are being taken - the solution for the West Lothian question favoured by shadow Scottish secretary David Mundell. Sir Malcolm said England-only votes would create a "two-tier" system. Under Sir Malcolm's proposals, the whole House of Commons would endorse the decisions of the "grand committee". A Tory Reform Group fringe meeting voted overwhelmingly to back the idea. Sir Malcolm commented afterwards that he was confident it would feature in the Tory election manifesto. Brian Wheeler

  • Former cabinet minister John Redwood told a fringe meeting "UKIP is not the enemy". Mr Redwood was addressing a meeting on the EU reform treaty. He told his audience: "UKIP is not the enemy, Labour and the Liberal Democrats are the enemy. It's time the Eurosceptics fought together, I want us to unite and fight, I want to get my country back and will only do that when the Eurosceptic majority has a majority in the places of power". Alicia McCarthy


    Theresa May's leopard print shoes next to Ken Clarke's traditional brown suede shoes
    Theresa May and Ken Clarke show off their different tastes in footwear.


    Let the people pass judgement on 10 years of broken promises, let people decide who's really making the arguments about the future of our country. Let people decide who can make the changes that we really need in our country. Call that election. We will fight. Britain will win.

    David Cameron to Gordon Brown


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