As it happened: Tuesday at the Lib Dem conference 2012

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  • Ed Lowther 
  • Alasdair Rendall 
  • Pippa Simm 

Last updated 25 September 2012


Live coverage of Tuesday at the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton starts here. On the agenda: a series of constitutional debates, on the Equalities Act 2010, and on Lords elections.


At 9.45am we're expecting a debate on the "rehabilitation revolution", which involves increasing the use of payment by results in the justice system.


And there are keynote speeches due from Scottish Secretary Michael Moore at 10.30am, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander at 12.20pm, and chair of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, Sharon Bowles MEP at 3.05pm.


Yesterday, the conference declared its near-unanimous support for moving from 30mph speed limits in England to 20mph. Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert commented: "Moving towards a national 20mph limit in residential areas is the right thing to do to further lower our road fatality rate and it is clear the public are backing this approach."


After Vince Cable's "I'm a pleb" speech yesterday, the Guardian reports that Lib Dems could restore their poll ratings "to heights not seen since the honeymoon period after they entered coalition in 2010" were they to defenestrate current leader Nick Clegg and re-anoint former interim leader Vince.


James Gurling, a delegate from Bermondsey and Old Southwark, introduces what he describes as an "oh-what-might-have-been amendment": a change to the party's constitution establishing a process of selecting candidates for an elected House of Lords. "Unfortunately, the Conservatives and Labour didn't share our vision," he says, as he urges the conference to back the change regardless.


BBC field producer Paul Lambert reports: There was concern last night when Danny Alexander had his conference pass snatched away by the cruel winds battering the Sussex coast. The chief secretary to the Treasury was strolling through the Lib Dem compound when a gust ripped his ID from his lanyard. Mr Alexander told me the police had been very understanding and their discussions had been entirely courteous.


Friends of the Earth bee campaign Campaigners from Friends of the Earth draw attention to the plight of the bumblebee, and its honey-producing cousin, outside the conference hall


Back in the main hall, the conference is applying its collective brain to the rehabilitation of offenders. "We need to think carefully before we open the door to privatisation of our public prisons," Nik Alatortsev, a delegate from the London Borough of Brent, says.


The Daily Mail reports that George Osborne has "slapped down" Nick Clegg's suggestion that the top 10% of earners should pay more tax. And the paper's deputy political editor, Tim Shipman, writes that, yesterday, Vince Cable "talked up the prospects of a possible Lib-Lab pact" after the next general election.