Page last updated at 17:16 GMT, Wednesday, 10 September 2008 18:16 UK

TUC day at-a-glance: Wednesday

By Justin Parkinson
BBC News political reporter, in Brighton

Here are some of the main points of Day Three of the TUC's annual conference in Brighton.

Labour's deputy leader, Harriet Harman, was down by the seaside, banging the government's drum on the issue of equality. In a speech which appeared to be aimed at the union grassroots, she condemned the Tories as "false friends" and promised to address that bugbear of the movement: social class differences. The coded question was "Do you want a Conservative government after the next election?" Some delegates have suggested there is already one, in all but name.


With the main business of the conference over, opinion on the prime minister's current performance seems rather low on the whole. Alistair Darling's speech, while hardly wildly applauded, was politely received, as was Ms Harman's. There is a sense that the government needs to do something soon to arrest its disappointing showings in recent opinion polls, but less sense of what that something will be.

It was not the most romantic of settings to have one's matrimonial intentions revealed. But Ms Harman announced from the stage of Brighton Centre that Treasury minister Angela Eagle is to marry her long-standing partner in a civil partnership ceremony. She admitted that the announcement was "probably a secret", but gave her best wishes to the minister and her partner Maria, a trade unionist, who are both at the conference. Ms Harman said the ceremony would take place "very soon".


A motion from the airline pilots' union Balpa, opposing moves to make aviation workers enrol in the national identity card scheme in 2009, gets delegates' backing. It notes "deep concerns about the implications of the National Identity Scheme in general and the coercion of aviation workers into the scheme in particular". Campaign group No2ID suggested it put the unions "on a collision course with the government over civil liberties".

Harriet Harman

Bring it on: Harman pledges to fight inequality


The Brighton get-together is gradually winding down. Thursday will see debates on employment rights, health and safety and TUC organisation. Then it is off to the Liberal Democrats in Bournemouth on Saturday, to kick-start the three-week party conference season.

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