Page last updated at 16:37 GMT, Wednesday, 24 September 2008 17:37 UK

Labour conference at-a-glance


I've relied on the support of my family and friends and I now think it's time to take a step back and repay them for the support that they have given me
Ruth Kelly, on her decision to quit the government


The news that Ruth Kelly has decided to leave the cabinet at a future reshuffle - expected as early as next week - dominated the final day of the conference. Not surprisingly, the transport secretary's own speech was closely watched for any signs of less than fulsome praise for Gordon Brown, amid suggestions she was unhappy about the government's direction in recent months. But it soon became clear that this was not a "Geoffrey Howe moment", as Ms Kelly described her leader as a "towering figure in the party, government and on the world stage" and said how she would live to regret it if she did not spend more time with her family. If this was not enough to send Mr Brown home from Manchester in a cheerier frame of mind, then Harriet Harman's close-of-conference speech should have done the trick. Praising Mr Brown as a man of "unrivalled experience", Labour's deputy leader said he had confounded his critics by his performance in recent days and begun Labour's "fight back".

Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly is to step down from the government at the next cabinet reshuffle. Kelly to step down from cabinet

Gordon Brown has staked his claim to be the only man to steer Britain through tough economic times saying: "This is no time for a novice." No time for novice, says Brown

Gordon Brown said he was "surprised" that his wife Sarah had wanted to take to the Labour Party conference stage to introduce him for his keynote speech. Sarah 'surprised' me, says Brown

Gordon Brown's wife Sarah entered centre stage at the Labour conference to introduce his keynote speech. Sarah Brown steps into spotlight

Gordon Brown has proved his "critics wrong" and has begun Labour's "fight back", Harriet Harman says. Harman hails Labour 'fight back':

David Miliband has dismissed a BBC story that he was overheard saying he wanted to avoid a "Heseltine moment" in his conference. Miliband rejects speech 'hearsay'

David Miliband has urged Labour to be optimistic about the future, insisting the Conservatives are "beatable". Miliband urges Labour optimism

Chancellor Alistair Darling has pledged action to deal with the "extraordinary turbulence" in the financial system. Darling pledges action on economy

Labour's finances are improving after "real progress" in reducing debts, treasurer Jack Dromey has told the party's conference. Labour Party finances 'improving'

Identity cards could be handed out to children as young as 14, a home office minister has suggested. Younger teens 'to get ID cards'



Iain Duncan Smith and Roy Hattersley on Brown speech


"Great, great speech. Certainly the best Brown performance I've seen. He was at ease delivering the speech... He was warm but not cheesy (unlike last year). In the big picture/vision section he was firm and inspiring, in the policy sections specific and comprehensive and in the politics of it all he was defiant and delivered some great attack lines on the Tories.... This speech has drawn the battle line in the right way for Labour: statesmanship vs showmanship and experience and substance vs inexperience and opportunism." M Areu

"Some very powerful reminders about what the govt has achieved and what we wouldn't have had under a Tory administration and a useful warning about why we must not let a Tory govt back. But at the end of the day, it's down to GB to deliver a platform that will win us the election or not. And if he can't then by his own arguments he must step down because we cannot allow another Tory govt back in to undo our achievements." Fluffy Mike

"I have to say - I've never been a fan but that was much better than I could've expected. He told a story behind the numbers, drew comparison to a cause greater than the Party and praised each cabinet member. I've wanted him gone and still would prefer that but what would be even better would be the "narrative" changes and the media give us a better hearing. Line of the speech: "Some say I'm too serious - I say there's much to be serious about." Jim Dodd

"I think he started quite well by getting straight into it and 'fessing up on the personality stuff. "Serious man for serious times" may not be a funny line, but it's a good one. Now we are getting some details - nursery places etc. I think it may set interesting challenges for Cameron's chosen tone." John DE

"My children are not props." This after just having been introduced by his wife!" Policywonk

"He is going to sort out the world finances, cure the world's sick, bring world peace, and now seemingly world equality. Is this really Gordon Brown or an imposter? He'll be promising us eternal life next." Polly's Mum

"I can't believe how bad it is. I really thought Brown might fight, but he's just read out a laundry list. The man is probably the most unsuited and incompetent PM we have had the misfortune of having." Mike, Brighton


"It was a very typical Brown speech. Poor in terms of substance. Predictable in terms of delivery. Lots of tractor figures. Low on any real detail. Lots of lists and empty promises. Business as usual then." Simon

"Several standing ovations during leader's speech reminds me of IDS. Is this the image Labour want?" Mark Pack

"I can see why some people would like Gordon Brown's rhetoric, but it's a complete turn-off for me." Will Howells

"I tried to watch but was constantly distracted by that goldfish like thing he does with his mouth." Liberal Neil

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