Page last updated at 19:39 GMT, Wednesday, 30 September 2009 20:39 UK

At-a-glance: Labour conference

The Sun

After the high of Gordon Brown's big speech came the low of Wednesday's newspapers and the announcement by the Sun that it had switched allegiance to the Tories. The front page of Britain's biggest selling daily declared, "Labour's lost it", and said David Cameron was the one "to put the great back in Great Britain". Mr Brown may have attempted to shrug off the news - telling the BBC, "it is people that decide elections" - but the loss of support will have come as a blow. Brown defiant after Sun rejection


Senior Labour MP Barry Sheerman expressed concern at Mr Brown's plan to place teenage mothers in supervised state-run hostels. He said such women were "vulnerable" and such institutions could be "magnets for pimps and people who prey on young women". Fear over 'mothers hostel' plan

Deputy leader and Equalities Minister Harriet Harman hit back at the Sun's rejection, insisting Labour "won't be bullied". Harman turns fire on Sun decision

The Scottish Sun offered Labour some hope, as the editor said he was "yet to be convinced" that the Conservatives were the best choice for Scotland. Scottish Sun not backing Tories

Health Secretary Andy Burnham announced that Labour hopes to scrap hospital parking charges for in-patients in England if it wins the next election. He said he hoped all hospital trusts would join up voluntarily, but would take to task any who did not. Free parking plan for in-patients

Ed Balls and comedian Eddie Izzard
The Two Eddies: Izzard introduced Balls on Wednesday

Schools Secretary Ed Balls announced a "behaviour challenge" had been issued to the one in five schools falling short on classroom discipline. He said parents also had a role in pushing schools to ensure behaviour was a priority. Schools told pupils must behave

Mr Balls also said a study would be conducted to examine whether members of organisations which "promote racism", including the BNP, should be banned from working as teachers. BNP teacher ban 'to be examined'

Delegates voted in favour of an emergency motion brought by unions calling for the government to take responsibility for Royal Mail's pension deficit. Tony Woodley, from Unite, said ministers must put pressure on all parties to settle the dispute, which has led to widespread industrial action. Labour members back Mail action

Ms Harman also used her speech to call on California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to shut down a website containing reviews of prostitutes, including some in London. Terminate degrading site - Harman


Deidre Sanders - best known as Dear Deidre, the Sun's agony aunt - was due to speak at a fringe event with Ed Balls about relationship breakdowns but the paper's own relationship breakdown with the Labour Party appears to have got in the way. The audience was told she would not be taking part "for diplomatic reasons" and were read a note from her saying staying away "was thought best" in the circumstances.


Lord Mandelson was in typically impish form, when being questioned by reporters about whether he had used a very rude word in a late night phone call to News International executive Rebekah Brooks (nee Wade) over The Sun's decision to stop backing Gordon Brown. "What c-word? Cuts?," he said, affecting bafflement. Sure, he had made a call to Rebekah on Tuesday night but he had told her The Sun were being a "bunch of chumps"....


"The world will be better for this, that one man scorned and covered with scars, still strove with his last ounce of courage." Lesley Garratt must have thought she had hit the right note with her choice of song for Labour's big gala dinner on Tuesday night. But we would have like to have seen Gordon Brown's face when she reached the chorus: "To dream the impossible dream..."


Tony Woodley rips up a copy of The Sun with "Labour's Lost it" front page

Unite general secretary Tony Woodley drew cheers on Wednesday afternoon when he angrily tore up a copy of the Sun. Responding to the paper's about-turn on allegiance, he asked what business proprietor Rupert Murdoch had in trying to interfere in British politics. Alluding to the Sun's unpopularity on Merseyside over the Hillsborough tragedy, Mr Woodley said the entire country should follow Liverpool's lead and junk the paper. The politics of UK newspapers


Gordon Brown has told the BBC he has decided whether or not to take part in a televised debate with his elections opponents. However, those of you eager to know what that decision is will have to wait - the PM says now is not "the right time" to fill you in. On Tuesday, David Cameron accused Mr Brown of "dithering" and "bottling" over the issue - this cryptic announcement is unlikely to silence him. PM 'has made TV debate decision'


The PM's speech drew a mixed response from the rest of the press.

The Independent, under a headline of "The Last Throw" says that the prime minister bolstered his position with a fighting speech.

The Daily Telegraph also says the prime minister gave a combative speech and appeared to quash speculation that he could be ousted as party leader before the general election.

The Times thinks, however, that he "missed his moment" and failed to make any "serious acknowledgment of the need to cut public spending".

The Daily Mail agrees that he omitted to tell the country where the money for all his lavish promises would come from.

"Good enough to fight the next election, but not good enough to win it," is the Guardian's verdict.


Gordon and Sarah Brown
Sarah Brown paid a glowing tribute to her husband before his big speech


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