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Summary

  1. David Cameron pledged to raise the income tax threshold to £12,500 and raise the earnings point at which people pay the higher rate to £50,000
  2. He promised to protect the NHS in England from spending cuts until 2020 and end exclusive zero-hours contracts
  3. The speech came after former Conservative donor Arron Banks defected to UKIP
  4. Other speakers included Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and International Development Secretary Justine Greening

Live Reporting

By Pippa Simm, Victoria Park, Justin Parkinson and Adam Donald

All times stated are UK

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BBC experts' verdict

The BBC's correspondents have been digesting David Cameron's speech, working out what it means for people's lives and politics.

Economics editor Robert Peston asks if the PM is going further than Margaret Thatcher in rolling back the state.
Political correspondent Ben Wright looks at the messages Mr Cameron is trying to get across before next May's election. And
health correspondent Nick Triggle wonders what pledges by Labour and the Conservatives over the NHS will mean in practice.

Bye for now

Our live text reporting on the Conservative Party conference finishes here. But that's not the end of the BBC's coverage by a long chalk. You can catch David Cameron's speech

here in full. And Andrew Neil presents his round-up of events on BBC Two at 23:20 BST - you can catch it afterwards on the iPlayer and the Live Coverage tab above. And, of course, there'll be plenty of discussion on BBC 5 live, BBC Radio 4's PM and The World Tonight, as well as BBC Two's Newsnight. See you for the Liberal Democrat conference and thanks for joining us.

Geoffrey Boycott, Cricket commentator and former Yorkshire and England cricketer

@GeoffreyBoycott

tweets: Cameron says @WilliamJHague is greatest living Yorkshireman. I have to disagree, what about Parky, Paul Sykes, Alan Bennett and me!?

Lord Ashcroft, pollster and former Deputy Chairman of the Conservatives

writes that "David Cameron has done a good day's work": "It was striking that many of his promises were intended to reach those who are not traditional Tory voters. Spelling out that under his plans most minimum wage earners would pay no income tax, his stirring passage on the NHS and the aim of abolishing youth unemployment will all help answer the charge that the Conservatives are exclusively on the side of the best off."

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Conference highlights

It's been a busy week of speeches and policy announcements at Conservative Party conference. To name a few, there have been pledges on apprenticeships, house building, pre-paid benefits cards, a welfare benefits freeze, NHS investment, English votes for English laws, stronger counter-terrorism laws, and tax cuts. If you want to take a look back at how each day unfolded - just click on the links below:

Sunday: BBC Parliament's recorded coverage of the day's proceedings, with speeches from party chairman Grant Shapps, and William Hague

Monday: featuring Chancellor George Osborne setting out the Conservatives' economic plans, and speeches from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith

Tuesday: including keynote speeches from Home Secretary Theresa May on terrorism and extremism, and brick-brandishing Boris Johnson, the London mayor.

Cameron's speech

In case you missed David Cameron's speech earlier today, you can catch it

here in full. Other highlights from today can also be found on the Key Video tab above. Andrew Neil will bring us his round-up of events on BBC Two at 23:20 BST - but if you don't fancy staying up that late you can catch it on the Live Coverage tab above.

Not over yet

The Conservatives' get-together doesn't spell the end of the conference season. Because of the Scottish referendum, the Liberal Democrat conference was put back by three weeks. It starts this weekend in Glasgow. Needless to say, we'll be covering it here on the BBC, on the website, radio and TV. Plaid Cymru's conference takes place later this month and the SNP's in November.

The speech in six pictures

David Cameron got an enthusiastic response, with union jacks waved, as he took to the stage against a backdrop listing what the Conservatives argues are this government's success stories.

David Cameron enters the stage at the 2014 conference
Reuters

Mr Cameron's opening remarks included a warm tribute to - and a brave attempt to mimic - William Hague, who is standing down at the next election. Mr Hague received a standing ovation from the crowd.

William Hague gets an ovation
Getty Images

The major announcements of the PM's speech related to tax policy: Over the period of the next parliament, the threshold for the 40% rate would rise to £50,000, up from £41,500, while the personal allowance threshold for income tax would rise to £12,500, up from £10,500, meaning those on minimum-wage working 30 hours a week would pay no income tax - "zero, nothing, zilch".

David Cameron promises to raise the income tax threshold
BBC

How dare Labour accuse him of not caring about the NHS, Mr Cameron said as he told of the care he had got for his son Ivan, who died in 2009 aged six. Both he and his wife Samantha looked close to tears.

Samantha Cameron watches her husband speak of the death of their son
BBC

But it was an upbeat occasion and the couple - to the strains of Fleetwood Mac - were all smiles for the traditional embrace for the cameras at the end of the speech.

David and Samanta Cameron
BBC

A sense of relief? A Conservative conference that began under a cloud with an MP defecting to UKIP ended with the Tory faithful departing in good spirits, with,

as Ben Wright says, an easy to understand middle class tax cut to take into the next election.

David and Samantha Cameron
Reuters

Keep talking

There'll be more discussion of today's end-of-conference speech on BBC Radio 4's PM programme from 17:00 BST.

Miliband on PM's speech

Labour leader Ed Miliband, campaigning in Clacton ahead of next week's by-election, tells the BBC: "What we heard from David Cameron and Conservatives this week is a clear decision to hit the incomes of working people by freezing their tax credits, hitting them by hundreds of pounds a year, and then vague, pie-in-the sky commitments... No one is going to be fooled by David Cameron giving with one hand and taking away far more with the other. And that is the reality of the prime minster's speech today, and the Conservative conference this week."

Tax cut timings

Norman Smith

BBC Assistant Political Editor

Conservative sources say they could begin their planned tax cuts ahead of 2018 if they make faster progress on deficit reduction than expected. They hold out the possibility that they could therefore begin incremental steps towards towards raising both the lower and higher tax thresholds before 2018. They will decide on a Budget-by-Budget basis.

'Yorkshireman' still trending on Twitter

@paceless

tweets: There are many Yorkshire ppl working at food banks who deserve the award more than any politician alive today. #yorkshireman. @SilverBackGriff
tweets: PM calls Hague the 'greatest living Yorkshireman'. If that doesn't prove how totally out of touch he is, nothing will.

Jessica Elgot, The Huffington Post UK

writes:

Is William Hague The Greatest Living Yorkshireman? Here's 10 Other Options. More than the tax cuts, or the spending slashes, it was David Cameron's assertion that the former foreign secretary is God's Own Country's greatest export that got social media a-buzz.
Read more

Louise Stewart, BBC

@BBCLouise

tweets: And so the party conference circus moves on. Dismantling well underway. Next stop Glasgow for Lib Dems.
See photo

Paper reaction

The Daily Telegraph

"David Cameron pledges tax cuts for millions," headlines the

Daily Telegraph. The paper notes that the move "delighted" Tory activists. It argues that Mr Cameron sought to answer Ed Miliband's charge that Britain's lowest earners were still suffering a "cost of living crisis" by taking millions of low earners out of tax completely. The paper's Whitehall editor, Holly Watts,
notes that Mr Cameron's vow to take on Brussels by scrapping the Human Rights Act and seeking to cut immigration from Europe also went down well with the party faithful.

More paper reaction

The Guardian

The Guardian describes David Cameron's announcements on raising the personal income tax allowance and the 40p tax rate threshold as an "audacious bid to woo middle and lower income earners in next year's general election". Chief political correspondent Nicholas Watt says the speech was designed by Tory strategists to lay the basis of a centre-ground Tory pitch to the nation - and to respond to threats from Labour and UKIP. He also picks up on the Tory leader's pledge to replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights, that would transform Britain's relationship with the European Court of Human Rights.

Paper reaction

The Daily Mail

Unsurprisingly the majority of papers are leading on David Cameron's pledges to cut taxes if his party wins the election. David Cameron today put two major tax cuts at the heart of his bid for re-election, as he sought to see off the dual threats posed by Labour and UKIP with a patriotic plea for a Conservative majority government,

writes the Daily Mail. Mailonline's political editor, Matt Chorley, says Mr Cameron unveiled a "bold slate" of policies for the Conservatives' election manifesto and moved his wife Samantha to "tears" with a "passionate defence" of the NHS.

Michael Savage, Times Chief Political Correspondent

@michaelsavage

tweets: Paul Johnson from the #IFS: It will be "very difficult" to see how the Tories' £7bn tax giveaway could be paid for.

Jeremy Cliffe, The Economist's UK politics correspondent

@JeremyCliffe

tweets: Of course Cameron's announcements are profligate. But public trust him with finances. He gets to pledge things Labour currently could not.

Sticking to the script

David Cameron
Getty Images
Here's photographic proof David Cameron used a script, as promised, for his big speech

Polling

A new ComRes / ITV News poll suggests a majority - 57% - of the British public are dismissive of the Conservatives' record on the NHS and immigration. More than half polled (57%) thought the Conservatives' management of the NHS has been bad for Britain, while two thirds were unhappy with the party's handling of immigration. A majority also thought changes to university tuition fees and increasing spending on overseas aid have been to the detriment of the country - 55% and 56%, respectively. The only Tory policy seen by more of the British public as "good for Britain" than "bad for Britain" is the introduction of gay marriage, according to the poll. ComRes interviewed 2,024 British adults online between 26 and 28 September.

Robin Brant, Political Correspondent BBC News

@robindbrant

tweets: think the story later will be of a much bigger donation to @ukip but not another defection. happy to be proved wrong though on the latter.

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Text: 61124

Rob, Lichfield: In response to Patrick Wintour's tweet at 14.32 - the Human Rights Act (HRA) is a very short document that brings the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into our law. Scrapping HRA would by definition scrap ECHR. What will be interesting is what the new Bill of Rights would put in its place.

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Rebecca, Nottinghamshire: Cameron is certainly starting to sway my vote to being Tory for the first time.

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BBC News website reader: I'm positive about the changes to tax - especially the 40% band. At last, the law-abiding hard-working middle are being recognised! Now let's please review stamp duty.

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BBC News website reader: Being offered future tax cuts on the condition of economic recovery by a party that missed their own growth and deficit targets is hardly encouraging. Specific on the offers, vague on the means to achieve these offers.

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Text: 61124

Lee Sanders, Chichester: Mr Cameron, can't buy my vote back with a pledge to increase the 40% tax bracket to 50k after what you did to middle earners and families on the child benefit.

Philip Collins, Writer, The Times

@PCollinsTimes

tweets: As a piece of political writing, that was the best speech Cameron has done. Clear, well written and cleverly constructed.

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Anna, Northumberland: Good, inspiring, motivating speech. He's got my vote and my help in canvassing for the first time.

Tom Newton Dunn, The Sun political editor

@tnewtondunn

Tweets: Ed Balls attacks Cameron's #cpc14 tax cuts as "pie in the sky promises" for not being costed - but interestingly doesn't rule out matching.

Patrick Wintour, Political Editor of the Guardian

@patrickwintour

tweets: Cameron says will scrap Human Rights Act and replace with British Bill of Rights. Does not say will quit European Convention on Human Rights.

Rafael Behr, Guardian columnist

@rafaelbehr

tweets: As with Osbo's big raid on working poor, I wonder if Tories getting just a bit cocky with this dubiously funded (upper) mid class tax cut.

Nigel Morris, Deputy Political Editor of the Independent

@NigelpMorris

tweets: Missing from Cameron speech - any reference to (1) Boris Johnson (2) Nick Clegg and the @LibDems #CPC14

Joey Jones, Deputy Political Editor, Sky News

@joeyjonessky

tweets: Cameron's best speech to conference since entering Downing St. Tone varied wildly, but good bits v good indeed.

Jason Beattie, Daily Mirror political editor

@JBeattieMirror

tweets: Things Cameron didn't mention, though he had a script: bedroom tax, food banks and A&E closures. Don't expect hounding from media on this.

Olympic audience

There was a second Olympic champion in the Conservatives' midst this conference. James Cracknell - double Olympic rowing gold medallist - was in the audience for David Cameron's speech. Mr Cracknell is hoping to stand as a Conservative candidate at the general election. Yesterday, Olympic cycling champion Rebecca Pendleton

made a speech to party activists on the importance of school sport.

Double Olympic medallist James Cracknell
BBC

Union reaction

Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, says the speech marks an "RIP to compassionate conservatism". "No amount of dressing up can hide the fact that the policies in this speech pass by those who need the most help to reward richer voters" she says.

Owen Jones, Guardian columnist

@OwenJones84

tweets: David Cameron accidentally says he "resents" the poor. But it'd explain his cuts to benefits for workers, disabled and unemployed people.

Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Anchor Channel 4 News and Unreported World

@krishgm

tweets: @OllyGrender well it does seem increasingly plausible that the only person who won't change jobs in the next five years is Nick Clegg.

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Remy Osman, Buckinghamshire: Just starting my career and Cameron's speech has convinced me a Tory government will support me to keep more of my salary and buy a house.