Monday at Conservative conference 2012: As it happened

Key points

  • Chancellor George Osborne said he wanted to find an extra £10bn in benefit cuts
  • The chancellor unveiled a plan for workers to give up a string of employment rights in return for shares in their employer
  • Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and Eric Pickles adressed delegates in the afternoon

Live text


  • Aiden James 
  • Sean Clare 
  • Kayte Rath 

Last updated 8 October 2012


Hello and welcome to live coverage of Monday at the Conservative Party conference. Topping the bill today is Chancellor George Osborne, who is expected to speak just before noon.


Speaking to BBC Breakfast this morning, Chancellor George Osborne said that the government was looking at whether there should be a limit to the number of children in a family that should be supported on benefits.


The chancellor said the benefit cap would set a limit on how much money a household could receive, and the government wanted to change the incentives so that people would not have a "lifestyle option" of a life on benefits.


Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Chancellor George Osborne said that £16bn more cuts must be found in the 2015-16 budget. He argued that welfare spending must be cut further because "you can't balance the budget on the wallets of the rich".


Mayor of London Boris Johnson will be addressing to delegates on Tuesday afternoon, but he's already been out and about on the media circuit. On Pienaar's Politics on BBC Five Live, he refused to say whether or not David Cameron is a better prime minister than he could be. Mr Johnson said the matter was "unverifiable" but also said Mr Cameron was doing "a fantastic job".


And writing in the Daily Telegraph today, Boris Johnson warned that middle income families are feeling "utterly and understandably ignored".


New Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has opened this morning's conference session. She told delegates the vote against Scottish independence in any forthcoming referendum must be "emphatic" to provide stability for the UK.


Tory activist website ConservativeHome has published a provocative article in its conference newspaper today. Editor Tim Montgomerie speculates what a future Boris Johnson cabinet might look like - complete with pictures. Montgomerie says: "My fantasy cabinet is built around the party's greatest two assets, Boris Johnson and the 2010 Tory intake."


The new Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers is addressing conference, vowing to end so-called "double jobbing" in the Northern Ireland Assembly. A number of assembly members, including First Minister Peter Robinson, are also Westminster MPs which has provoked criticism.

TWEET 0950

Ahead of George Osborne's speech, the Sun's Tom Newton-Dunn tweets: Osborne must find a sympathetic tone when talking benefits cuts, no matter how good policy is - he is personification of nasty party.