Wednesday at Conservative conference 2012: As it happened

Key Points

  • Prime Minister David Cameron has made his big speech closing this year's Conservative conference in Birmingham
  • He warned the UK faces an "hour of reckoning" but said the UK is "on the right track" to meet the economic challenge
  • He urged party members to stick with his leadership, saying the country can weather the storm through "hard work" and "strong families"

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  1.  
    0908:

    Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the final day of the Conservatives' annual conference in Birmingham. Prime Minister David Cameron will be taking to the stage later this morning, but before that Culture Secretary Maria Miller will speak in a session on "Celebrating the UK".

     
  2.  
    0909:

    In his speech, the prime minister is expected to warn that the UK is facing an "hour of reckoning" with tough economic challenges ahead. Aides say it will also be a highly personal speech where Mr Cameron will speak about his family and his values.

     
  3.  
    0910: Norman Smith, BBC chief political correspondent

    tweets: Watching Grant Schapps do a series of local radio intvs in BBC den at #cpc12..haveto say .....uber relaxed/chatty style #mediaoperator

     
  4.  
    0912:

    From the BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Birmingham: Britannia Unchained, a book of economic essays by "rising stars" of the Tory party including Dominic Raab and Priti Patel, is topping the bestseller lists at Blackwell's book stall. It also sold very well at last week's Labour conference apparently.

    Britannia Unchained book
     
  5.  
    0913:

    Foreign Secretary William Hague has been out doing the media rounds this morning with a series of interview. He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that on the economy the PM's speech will include a "clear recognition that the world has changed". "It is tougher, it's not going to change back to how it was ten years ago," he said.

     
  6.  
    0915:

    On gay marriage, William Hague told the BBC he supported the move because "successful political parties move with their societies". On Monday, a rally on the fringes of the conference against plans to allow same-sex couples to marry was attended by hundreds of people.

     
  7.  
    0917:

    From the BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Birmingham: Had a nice chat with the staff on the Harvey Nicholls stand yesterday. Everything was going swimmingly until I asked how much champagne they were selling. They're not allowed to say...

     
  8.  
    0920: Andrew Neil

    tweets: Is Andrew Mitchell dead man walking? Cabinet ministers openly talking with each other about how to persuade him to quit at Spectator party

     
  9.  
    0925:

    London Mayor Boris Johnson may have charmed the conference yesterday but he has not had the same effect on Max Hastings, whose article in today's Daily Mail is headed: "If Boris ever becomes PM, I'm on the first plane out of Britain".

     
  10.  
    0927:

    In the Daily Mail, Max Hastings describes his former journalist colleague Boris Johnson as "an authentic star" and "a magnificent journalist and showman" but warns Conservatives against choosing him as their leader. "He proved himself the perfect maître d' for the London Olympics. But few maître d's are fit to cook the dinner," he writes.

     
  11.  
    0929: Norman Smith, BBC chief political correspondent

    tweets: The William Hague posse this morning during round of early doors intvs is by my counting .....9 #crowded

     
  12.  
    0933:

    Max Hastings gets personal in an attack on Boris Johnson in this morning's Daily Mail: "Most politicians are ambitious and ruthless, but Boris is a gold medal egomaniac." Mr Hastings thinks that voters are obsessed by "the X Factor culture" rather than looking for politicians with "gravitas". He also believes that the London mayor is "a far more ruthless, and frankly nastier, figure than the public appreciates".

     
  13.  
    0935:
    David and Samantha Cameron Balti birthday: David Cameron and his wife Samantha arrive at the Diwan Balti restaurant to celebrate his 46th birthday yesterday evening
     
  14.  
    0939: Patrick O'Flynn, The Daily Express

    tweets: Govt source confirms to me that Steve Hilton has had a major part in writing Cam speech. So it's Big Society a-go-go.

     
  15.  
    0942:

    From the BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Birmingham: The best-selling item on the Harvey Nicholls stand is something called Benefit Mascara. Wonder if it will still be here next year?

     
  16.  
    0945: Paul Waugh, Politics Home

    tweets: Little-remarked on political trivia: Cam's Oct 9 birthday is also same date a certain Margaret Hilda Thatcher 1st elected, in 1959 gen elxn

     
  17.  
    0948:

    Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, put in an appearance at a conference fringe meeting last night. He claimed that yesterday's IMF report, which downgraded the UK's growth forecast, "by and large... argues we should continue on the path we're on". Mr Alexander said the "headwinds" facing the economy had been "stronger then expected".

     
  18.  
    0954:
    Queue for David Cameron's speech Tory activists queuing two hours ahead to get the best seat for David Cameron's speech
     
  19.  
    0957:

    Former Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan has said the Conservative Party "is losing its reputation for competence". Speaking at an event on how the Conservatives can win in 2015, Ms Gillan - who lost her job in the last cabinet reshuffle - said the party needs to be clear about how they are going to decouple from the Lib Dems.

     
  20.  
    1000:

    Labour are on the attack ahead of David Cameron's speech to the party faithful today. Shadow Cabinet Office minister Michael Dugher says Mr Cameron "can't be the one nation prime minister we need to lead the way".

     
  21.  
    1003:

    From the BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Birmingham: Who said the Conservatives weren't serious about tackling the super-rich?

    High Pay Centre sign
     
  22.  
    1006:

    From the BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Birmingham: Last night's Demos fringe meeting "Women scorned: Exploring the impact of austerity on women" did not draw much of a crowd. Chairman Jenni Russell said she was "tempted to say something" about the Tories not taking the issue seriously. But she didn't.

     
  23.  
    1010: Emily Thornberry MP, shadow attorney general

    tweets: Am in Birmingham. Am going to Tory Party Conference. Am speaking at a fringe about Cameron's speech. Currently can't remember why!

     
  24.  
    1012:

    Health minister Anna Soubry is asked on the BBC News Channel why party leaders feel the need to tell their personal back story. She says it's nothing new. Margaret Thatcher defined herself as "the grocer's daughter from Grantham".

     
  25.  
    1014:
    Charlotte Church and former police officer Jacqui Hames meet the prime minister The singer Charlotte Church was among campaigners against press intrusion who met the prime minister last night
     
  26.  
    1015:

    After meeting with the PM, members of the Hacked Off campaign said they were reassured Mr Cameron had not ruled out statutory regulation of the press.

     
  27.  
    1018:

    BBC News Channel chief political correspondent Norman Smith says David Cameron will use an autocue in his big speech rather than "wandering around without notes" as Labour leader Ed Miliband did last week.

     
  28.  
    1022:

    From the BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Birmingham: George Osborne's Parliamentary aide Amber Rudd told a Demos fringe that although women have been worst affected by public sector cuts they "have picked up jobs elsewhere" and were increasingly "working for themselves".

     
  29.  
    1025: Janan Ganesh, FT columnist and biographer of George Osborne

    tweets: Every Cameron speech of the past five years has been 7 out of 10. He rarely bombs, he seldom soars.

     
  30.  
    1028:

    From the BBC's Brian Wheeler, in Birmingham: MP Amber Rudd has called for more "clarity" for employers about when new mothers are going to return to work: "I think we should have some persuasion technique so that women don't take the longest maternity leave they can and leave the employer still waiting and guessing."

     
  31.  
    1032:

    The final day of conference opens with the "celebrating the UK" session. Culture Secretary Maria Miller is due to speak in a few minutes' time.

     
  32.  
    1035:

    The Guardian website has "David Cameron party conference bingo" - enabling readers to keep track of the buzzwords the prime minister could use in his speech.

     
  33.  
    1037:

    Culture Secretary Maria Miller takes to the stage, saying that "Britain has regained its pride" over the summer under "a Conservative government".

     
  34.  
    1041:

    Culture Secretary Maria Miller says she believes in marriage. She gets applause when she adds the state should not stop people getting married without good reason, "and I don't believe being gay is one of them".

     
  35.  
    1045:

    Maria Miller leaves the stage, to make way for a panel discussion. A ripple of laughter passes through the hall as sports minister Hugh Robertson is left sitting uncomfortably on his own for a few moments waiting for Olympic medallists to join him on stage.

     
  36.  
    1047: Gaby Hinsliff, former policital editor of The Guardian

    tweets: Huge applause from hall when Maria Miller backs gay marriage. Cheering

     
  37.  
    1049:

    Hugh Robertson is joined by Joanna Rowsell, cycling gold medallist and Anne Panter, who won a bronze medal as part of the field hockey team.

     
  38.  
    1052:

    David Cameron has used his new Twitter feed to condense his upcoming speech into 140 characters: I'm levelling with the British people in my speech at 11.30. It's sink or swim, do or decline. How we'll ensure Britain wins the Global Race

     
  39.  
    1055: Isabel Oakeshott, The Sunday Times

    tweets: I'm sitting among elderly ladies in twinsets and pearls in conf hall. Be interesting to see how these true blues react to Dave's speech

     
  40.  
    1058:

    Lord Coe takes the stage to a standing ovation from the hall. Despite being a Tory peer, he was warmly greeted by the Labour conference last week for his role in the London 2012 Olympics.

     
  41.  
    1101:

    Lord Coe thanks the prime minister, the cabinet and the mayor of London for their contribution to the Olympics. Former Prime Minister Sir John Major gets another thank you for overseeing the establishment of the National Lottery.

     
  42.  
    1102:
    Maria Miller Maria Miller giving her first conference speech as culture secretary
     
  43.  
    1104:

    Lord Coe tells conference the Paralympics "changed attitudes to disability, not just for a summer, but forever".

     
  44.  
    1105:

    From the BBC's Gavin Stamp, in Birmingham: You get used to think tanks and pressure groups sponsoring fringe meetings but they was a more unusual name on the conference agenda last night. The Carlton Club, a London watering hole for Conservative politicians since 1832, put on its first ever gathering - addressed by the former Defence Secretary Liam Fox.

     
  45.  
    1106:

    The BBC's Gavin Stamp continues: At last night's event, Liam Fox set out a road map for the Tories to win in 2015 - cut taxes and regulation, boost enterprise and get tough with Europe. Economic conditions were far worse in the early 1980s and the party triumphed at the ballot box by staying true to its values, he pointed out.

     
  46.  
    1109: Dan Mills, Deputy Chairman of Preseli Pembrokeshire Conservative Association

    tweets: The stage is all set for @David_Cameron closing speech of #CPC12 - inspired by a government focused on delivering for everyone in GB!

     
  47.  
    1111:
    Hugh Robertson and Jo Rowsell and Anne Panter Sports minister Hugh Roberton chats with Olympians Joanna Rowsell and Anne Panter
     
  48.  
    1113:

    Lord Coe's speech ends to another standing ovation and he leaves the stage. Now New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is on stage as a guest speaker.

     
  49.  
    1114: Claudia Mendoza

    tweets Just caught glimpse of @David_Cameron and Samantha walk through hall at #cpc12. Getting set for his speech

     
  50.  
    1115:

    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, keeping with the Olympic theme, describes David Cameron as "a gold medal prime minister". He also thanks the conference for "letting a Yank crash the party".

     
  51.  
    1117:
    Lord Coe Locog chair and Tory peer Lord Coe addresses the conference
     
  52.  
    1119: Steven Perryman

    tweets: Mayor Bloomberg adding some gravitas to #cpc12 this morning. Wise to have him on right before @David_Cameron?

     
  53.  
    1121: Jonathan Freedland, The Guardian

    tweets: Bloomberg showing Romney how a US pol is meant to do a UK visit. Ticking every box: mentioning WW2, Churchill and praising Olympics

     
  54.  
    1123:
    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg praises David Cameron's leadership
     
  55.  
    1124:

    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg backs private sector investment and the coalition's changes to planning laws. He says such measures "will create jobs at no cost to taxpayers".

     
  56.  
    1126:

    Michael Bloomberg describes David Cameron as "a Conservative in the very best sense of the word" who refuses "to buy into the something for nothing philosophy that is so common in world politics".

     
  57.  
    Andrew Knight

    tweets: Come on then DC, knock our socks off.

     
  58.  
    1127:

    The audience rises to its feet to applaud New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. David Cameron is expected to make his keynote speech in a few minutes.

     
  59.  
    1128: Christina Patterson, The Independent

    tweets: 'There's nothing complicated about what we need today.' Sorry, Dave, but people who think things are simple don't inspire confidence #cpc12

     
  60.  
    1129:

    Foreign Secretary William Hague is on stage to introduce the prime minister.

     
  61.  
    1130:
    William Hague William Hague looking pleased with the standing ovation he just received
     
  62.  
    1131:

    David Cameron gets his own special podium as the one in the hall is changed from a white one to a wooden one.

     
  63.  
    1132: Kevin Maguire, The Daily Mirror

    tweets: Seen Cameron's speech. Hope it sounds better than it reads

     
  64.  
    1133:
    Tory audience The Tory front bench rise to greet William Hague
     
  65.  
    1135:

    And we're off. David Cameron takes the stage to a standing ovation from the gathered crowds.

     
  66.  
    1136:
    Samantha Cameron Samantha Cameron is in the audience for her husband's speech
     
  67.  
    1137:

    The prime minister tells his party: "We were entering into government at a grave moment in the modern history of Britain. At a time when people felt uncertainty, even fear."

     
  68.  
    David Cameron The prime minister takes to the stage
     
  69.  
    1138:

    David Cameron says that the people of the UK always "thought we can pay our way" but now it falls to his government "to say - we cannot assume that any longer".

     
  70.  
    1139:

    Mr Cameron says his best moment of the summer was "putting that gold medal around the neck of Ellie Simmonds".

     
  71.  
    1140:
    David Cameron David Cameron begins his speech talking about the challenges the party faced on coming into government
     
  72.  
    1141: Adnam Aslam

    emails: We have to boost the morale of country by not telling them "sacrifice more - sacrifice more" but actually by giving up luxury/comfort things for people - lead by example.

     
  73.  
    1142:
    Samantha Cameron An emotional Samantha Cameron in the audience as David Cameron talks about their late son Ivan
     
  74.  
    1143:

    The prime minister tells his party: "By the end of 2014, all UK combat operations in Afghanistan will have come to an end. Nearly all our troops will be home." Party members rise to applaud.

     
  75.  
    1144:

    The prime minister praises Lord Coe - "what a giant he was this summer" - and also praises London Mayor Boris Johnson, calling him "the zinger on the zipwire".

     
  76.  
    1145:
    olympians Olympians in the audience as the prime minister pays tribute to them
     
  77.  
    1146: Adam Bienkov, political blogger

    tweets: Nick Clegg had to mention Paddy Ashdown to get a round of applause in his speech. David Cameron has to mention the Queen

     
  78.  
    1147:
    front bench An appreciative Maria Miller, Andrew Lansley and Chris Grayling applaud their leader
     
  79.  
    1148:

    David Cameron: "For years people said you'll never reform public sector pensions, the trade unions won't stand for it. Well, we've done it, and it's going to cut the cost to the taxpayer almost in half."

     
  80.  
    1149:

    The prime minister tells his party to "be proud of what we've done already. Two million of the lowest-paid workers being taken out of income tax altogether. Over eighteen million households helped with a freeze in their council tax".

     
  81.  
    1150:
    crowd David Cameron asks the crowd to rise to applaud the British armed forces
     
  82.  
    1151:

    Sartorial news from the BBC's Rebecca Keating. She says Samantha Cameron is wearing a dress by Joseph for her husband's speech, which is the same brand worn by Ed Miliband's wife for his speech.

     
  83.  
    1152:

    David Cameron says developing countries are "on the rise" while "the old powers are on the slide".

     
  84.  
    1153:
    David Dameron "We are the party of the NHS," David Cameron tells conference
     
  85.  

    David Cameron calls on people to "build an aspiration nation".

     
  86.  
    1154:

    Of the Conservatives, David Cameron says: "We don't preach about one nation but practise class war. We just get behind people who want to get on in life."

     
  87.  
    1155: Ted Gormally

    emails: In his speech Cameron talks about the NHS but can they tell us how many of the Cabinet have private health insurance?!

     
  88.  
    1156:

    The prime minister tells his party: "While the intellectuals of other parties sneer at people who want to get on in life, we here salute you. They call us the party of the better off. No: We are the party of the want to be better off."

     
  89.  
    1157:
    Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt sat next to Home Secretary Theresa May
     
  90.  
    1158:

    David Cameron: "Conservatives think: Let's just get on with the job and help people and not bang on about it. It's not our style. But there's a problem with that. It leaves a space for others to twist our ideas and distort who we are: The cartoon Conservatives who don't care."

     
  91.  
    1158:

    David Cameron says his mission as Conservative leader is "to show the Conservative party is for everyone: North or South, black or white, straight or gay".

     
  92.  
    1159:
    Samantha Cameron A proud looking Samantha Cameron watches her husband in action
     
  93.  
    1159:

    David Cameron: "A strong private sector. Welfare that works. Schools that teach. These three things are essential to helping our people rise."

     
  94.  
    1200:

    David Cameron pays tribute to what he calls "the grit and resolve of George Osborne". Thanks to the chancellor, "we have cut a quarter off the deficit in the past two years," he says.

     
  95.  
    1200:
    Audience The hall is packed for the Tory leader's speech
     
  96.  
    1201:

    On borrowing, the prime minister says: "Right now, while we've got a deficit, the people we're borrowing money from believe that we'll pay it back - because we've set out a tough plan to cut spending and live within our means."

     
  97.  
    1202:

    David Cameron says: "Labour's plan to borrow more is actually a massive gamble with our economy and our future. And it would squander the sacrifices we've already made."

     
  98.  
    1202:

    David Cameron: "We're here because they (Labour) spent too much and borrowed too much. How can the answer be more spending and more borrowing? I honestly think Labour haven't learned a single thing."

     
  99.  
    1202:
    David Cameron David Cameron says Britain's interest rates are "among the lowest in the world"
     
  100.  
    1203:

    The prime minister calls Labour not a one nation party but "the party of one notion - borrowing".

     
  101.  
    1204:

    David Cameron attacks Ed Miliband's description of "a tax cut as the government writing people a cheque". The prime minister says: "When people earn money, it's their money. So, if we cut taxes, we're not giving them money - we're taking less of it away."

     
  102.  
    1205:
    Crowd The crowd enjoys David Cameron's tax lecture to Ed Miliband
     
  103.  
    1206:

    David Cameron tells conference: "We're making things again. We had a trade surplus in cars last year for the first time in almost 40 years."

     
  104.  
    1207:

    David Cameron says the UK is "the most enterprising, buccaneering, creative, dynamic nation on earth".

     
  105.  
    1208:
    David Cameron The prime minister has been speaking for over half an hour
     
  106.  
    1208:

    David Cameron on planning reform: "For a business to expand, it needs places to build. If it takes too long, they'll just build elsewhere."

     
  107.  
    1209:
    Conference attendees Not all Conservative activists were able to get into the hall to watch David Cameron's speech - some have had to make do watching in on TV elsewhere in the conference centre
     
  108.  
    1210:

    Saying that business will be put off if planning decisions take too long, the prime minister adds: "If we're going to be a winner in this global race we've got to beat off this suffocating bureaucracy once and for all."

     
  109.  
    1211:

    Fact check from the BBC economics analyst Stephen Coulter: David Cameron's claim on new jobs - true that 1m private sector jobs have been created, but many of them are part time.

     
  110.  
    1211:

    David Cameron: "We need to build more houses in Britain."

     
  111.  
    1212:

    David Cameron: "If we want our people to rise so Britain can rise, we must tackle welfare."

     
  112.  
    1212: Louise in Bolton

    texts: Cameron at conference....the best comedy performance this year. How deluded and hypocritical can one man's rhetoric be.

     
  113.  
    1213:
    David Cameron The prime minister says the country must "beat off this suffocating bureaucracy" to succeed
     
  114.  
    1213:

    The prime minister says the government's welfare reforms are "are just as profound as those of Beveridge 60 years ago".

     
  115.  
    1214:

    David Cameron says unemployed people "have to sign a contract that says: You do your bit and we'll do ours". He adds that "it makes clear: You have to seek work and take work - or you will lose your benefit".

     
  116.  
    1215:
    Audience member The prime minister says he wants to make it easier for young people to buy their first home
     
  117.  
    1216:

    David Cameron claims a trade union official described the work experience programme as "state sponsored slavery". The prime minister calls that view "an appalling, snobbish attitude to the idea of work".

     
  118.  
    1217:

    On education, the prime minister says: "This is Britain's real school report and the verdict is clear: Must try harder."

     
  119.  
    1217:
    David Cameron David Cameron in the frame
     
  120.  
    1217:

    David Cameron says his plan is "millions of children sent to independent schools - independent schools, in the state sector".

     
  121.  
    1218:

    Fact check on health claims: When David Cameron said that the number of doctors, dentists and midwives was up, he doesn't mention that there are fewer nursing staff than in May 2010 - down overall despite the increase in the number of midwives. However, overall the number of full time equivalent, professionally qualified staff in the NHS has risen by a fraction of a per cent since the coalition took office.

     
  122.  
    1219:

    David Cameron praises the Harris Academy in Peckham, south east London and asks: "Why can't every school be that way? Why can't every child have those chances?"

     
  123.  
    1220:

    The prime minister says: "When inspirational teachers and parents - in Hammersmith, in Norwich, in Bristol and in Wigan - wanted to open free schools, the left-wing establishment said no."

     
  124.  
    1221:

    David Cameron asks: "Isn't the greatest disadvantage of all being written off by those so in hock to a culture of low expectations that they have forgotten what it's like to be ambitious?"

     
  125.  
    1221:

    David Cameron says there will no slowing of education reforms. "Michael Gove and I are not waiting for an outbreak of sanity in the headquarters of the NUT or an embrace of aspiration in the higher reaches of Labour before we act," he says.

     
  126.  
    1222:

    The prime minister insists: "I'm not here to defend privilege, I'm here to spread it."

     
  127.  
    1223: Chris McCray

    tweets: Smart Uniforms? Teachers in Suits? Pupils streamed by ability? Sounds like my old comprehensive school...

     
  128.  
    1223:

    David Cameron talks about his background: "I don't have a hard luck story. My dad was a stockbroker from Berkshire."

     
  129.  
    1224:
    Liz Truss The prime minister gets a clap from Tory MP Liz Truss
     
  130.  
    1224:

    David Cameron talks about his late father, who was born with disabilities. He says his dad's story in "not a hard luck story, but a hard work story".

     
  131.  
    1225:

    David Cameron lists Britain's achievements and adds: "We even persuaded the Queen to jump out of a helicopter to make the rest of the world smile... there is absolutely nothing we cannot do."

     
  132.  
    1226:

    David Cameron ends his speech: "We know what it takes to win. To win in the tough world of today. To win for all our people. To win for Britain. So let's get out there and do it."

     
  133.  
    1226:

    Samantha Cameron joins her husband on stage as the party gives him a standing ovation.

     
  134.  
    1228:
    David and Samantha Cameron David and Samantha Cameron on stage at the end of his speech
     
  135.  
    1230: Joey Jones, Sky News

    tweets: two powerful personal stories really anchored a good speech. emotion made policy sections feel richer than would otherwise have been case.

     
  136.  
    1232: Nick Robinson Political editor

    In his speech the prime minister was saying: "I know we're not where we hoped to be" on the deficit and the economy "but I know that we can do it". And he was warning us that if we don't, the country is sunk.

     
  137.  
    1233: Anne McElvoy, The Economist

    tweets: Cheeky use of Style Council "Move on Up" as Dave leaves stage. Mr Paul Weller will not be best pleased.

     
  138.  
    1235:

    From BBC political correspondent Paul Rowley: David Cameron mentioned the word "aspiration" or variations of it seven times in his speech. He used the phrase "on the rise" - mostly "Britain is on the rise" - 10 times.

     
  139.  
    1236: Tom, London

    texts: A speech of half truths and contradictions, I'm not convinced

     
  140.  
    1239:

    Conservative party members are reacting positively to the speech on the BBC's Daily Politics. One gave the speech "10 out of 10" while another said the atmosphere in the hall had been "electric" and even suggested David Cameron was "the messiah".

     
  141.  
    1240: Tim Shipman, Daily Mail

    tweets: 'Authenticity and authority' says Michael Gove, one of few ministers to get a name check

     
  142.  
    1241:
    David and Samantha Cameron And that's all folks. The prime minister and his wife wave goodbye to the conference hall
     
  143.  
    1242:

    Conservative MP Chris Kelly tells the Daily Politics that he would have given the speech "10 out of 10" if the prime minister had promised a referendum on the EU. He says he is "disappointed".

     
  144.  
    1243: Robin, London

    texts: David Cameron doing a good job of showing why he is the prime minister and Ed Miliband will never be!

     
  145.  
    1244:

    Former Justice Secretary Ken Clarke tells the BBC David Cameron "stopped the right-wing nonsense" that prevented his party getting elected. He says the speech was a "clear and serious explanation" of the task ahead for the prime minister.

     
  146.  
    1245:

    Another party member is asked on the Daily Politics to compare David Cameron's speech with Boris Johnson's yesterday. He says he "couldn't possibly comment," but then does, saying that the prime minister's speech showed "statesmanship".

     
  147.  
    1247: Matthew D'Ancona, GQ Magazine

    tweets: This was the speech in which Cameron explained his compassionate modern Conservatism more fully than ever

     
  148.  
    1249:

    Culture Secretary Maria Miller tells the Daily Politics that David Cameron made a "powerful" speech. Conservatives "are clearly setting out the battleground for the future of this country," she says.

     
  149.  
    1250: Jenni Russell, The Guardian

    tweets: an earnest end-of-year school report. No verve. Msg: Britain must raise its game to succeed. (But how? Econ flat..)

     
  150.  
    1252:

    Tory MP Nadine Dorries, who has been a fierce critic of the prime minister, tweets: Well, that was one strong and excellent speech. Well done DC. Praise always given when due. *swallows hard*

     
  151.  
    1254:
    David Cameron David Cameron in a final flourish as he finishes his big speech
     
  152.  
    1255:

    The Daily Mirror's Kevin Maguire tells Daily Politics David Cameron's failure to praise the police in his speech could be the "final nail in the coffin of Andrew Mitchell". The chief whip has been under pressure after he denied calling police officers "plebs".

     
  153.  
    1257:

    Journalist Kevin Maguire's verdict on David Cameron's speech: "If you put a dress on him and give him a handbag, he sounded at times like a slightly harsher Margaret Thatcher".

     
  154.  
    1259: Shantel Burns

    tweets: At least the #cpc12 was confirmation that Dave and Co. should not be running this country. Like a terrible Britian's Got Talent audition!

     
  155.  
    1300: Conservative MP Jesse Norman

    tweets: Clintonian speech from DC. Made a real, serious argument

     
  156.  
    1301:

    Sam Coates of the Times tells the Daily Politics the prime minister "stoked fear" in his speech. He suggests that saying "things are getting better, don't let the other side mess it up" could be a "defensive sign".

     
  157.  
    1303: Mark Goacher, Colchester

    emails: Mr Cameron was quite wrong to say that Britain needs more houses and to tear up planning regulations. What Britain needs is to stabilize population growth and to defend our countryside from over-development.

     
  158.  
    1305:
    David Cameron David Cameron says he knows "what it takes to win"
     
  159.  
    1306:

    Labour's shadow Cabinet Office minister, Michael Dugher says: "This was a defensive speech, from an out of touch, clearly rattled leader, who cannot be the one nation prime minister we need."

     
  160.  
    1307:

    Labour's Michael Dugher says the PM did not mention "the double dip recession or the one million young people out of work" in his speech. And he "failed to mention the police once" - a "total disgrace" at a time of police cutbacks, Mr Dugher says.

     
  161.  
    1309:

    Craig Bennett of Friends of the Earth says: "It's good to hear the prime minister salute the fact that Britain is number one in the world for offshore wind and tidal power - but this has happened despite the actions of his anti-green chancellor."

     
  162.  
    1310: Benedict Brogan, The Daily Telegraph

    tweets: At last 'uncomplicated' Dave shows passion. Turns privilege to his advantage. Aspiration of 'want to be better off' will save Britain

     
  163.  
    1312:

    The National Union of Teachers has responded to the education section of Mr Cameron's speech. General secretary Christine Blower said: "The prime minister is wrong. Adults do not need time to adjust to the government's educational reforms, they just don't want or need them."

     
  164.  
    1314:

    The Spectator's Fraser Nelson doesn't think the speech "was written to be a political landmark". He writes: "It sounded more like a party rally speech than a party conference speech, but it was none the worse for that. The Conservatives are, after all, a party that badly needs to be rallied."

     
  165.  
    1316:
    Esther McVey Tory MP Esther McVey looks on as David Cameron delivers his speech
     
  166.  
    1317: Rebecca Keeting, BBC

    tweets: Interesting there was no mention of the coalition in @david_cameron's #cpc12 speech

     
  167.  
    1319:

    Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said David Cameron's speech was "absolutely tremendous". "It was a much better speech than (Ed) Miliband. This is the real world," he says.

     
  168.  
    1320:

    Tory Party Chairman Grant Shapps is on Radio 4's World at One programme now. You can listen live on the BBC's online radio player here.

     
  169.  
    1322: Nick Robinson Political editor

    There wasn't the sense in the hall of "cor, blimey" as there had been in the case of Ed Miliband's speech to the Labour conference, but David Cameron did try to answer his party's critics.

     
  170.  
    1325:

    Justice Secretary Chris Grayling describes Mr Cameron's speech as "very good". "I think it lays out the scale of the challenge we have got but also how inadequate the challenge from the other side us," he says.

     
  171.  
    1326: Nick Robinson Political editor

    David Cameron was trying to answer those who describe the Tories as the party of the rich by saying the party in fact supported the "want to be better off".

     
  172.  
    1328: Dan Rattigan

    tweets: Good to see focus on creating jobs, there aren't nearly enough of them, but Gvt has to be proactive not hands off

     
  173.  
    1330:

    The SNP say David Cameron's speech confirms the anti-Scottish independence campaign is being "led by the Tories". Deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon says the speech was "appallingly complacent".

     
  174.  
    1331: Jamie O'Hara

    tweets: 'I reckon the Shappster will be amazeballs as our new chairman' Overheard #cpc12

     
  175.  
    1333:

    The general secretary of the Unite trade union says the speech "conjured up the politics of fear". Len McCluskey reckons David Cameron's policies are "designed to benefit a minority, when what we need is a manifesto of hope for the many".

     
  176.  
    1334:
    Oliver Letwin Tory MP Oliver Letwin in the audience for David Cameron's speech
     
  177.  
    1336:

    Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers says of David Cameron's speech: "I thought it was fabulous."

     
  178.  
    1337: Paul Waugh, Politics Home

    tweets: Huskyhugging Dave RIP. I count just 24 words (in 3 sentences) on green policy. Out of a speech of 6,000 wds #partywillbehappy

     
  179.  
    1339:

    Tory Chairman Grant Schapps tells BBC Radio 4's The World at One that controversy over the How To Corp website is a "very old story" and he hasn't been involved in the site in recent years. The Advertising Standards Authority has closed its investigation into the site.

     
  180.  
    1342:

    Phillip Blond of think-tank ResPublica, and the author of the book Red Tory, has praised David Cameron's "argument for radical Conservative policies". He said the PM "had the sense that we needed a new fresh goal - whether that was enough, I'm not sure."

     
  181.  
    1344:

    Watch a clip of David Cameron telling his party conference Britain is "still greatest country on earth" here.

     
  182.  
    1345: Ned Simons, Huffington Post UK

    tweets: Asked a large table of Tories for their view of Cameron's speech: 'Err, not sure, we didn't watch it'. #cpc12

     
  183.  
    1348:

    Joss Garman of Greenpeace says David Cameron has "allowed the UK to slip in the global green energy race". Mr Garman asks: "Why is he happy for the "greenest government ever" to change colour?"

     
  184.  
    1350:

    Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, says: "As the economy sinks it is easy for Cameron to talk about swimming for those on decks of luxury yachts". He says the Conservatives and Lib Dems have "allowed Osborne to tank the economy".

     
  185.  
    1352: George Eaton, New Statesman

    tweets: Notable that there wasn't a single policy announcement in Cameron's speech. Not even on child care as pre-briefed.

     
  186.  
    1355:

    Alison Garnham of the Child Poverty Action Group says "rising child poverty will be the real cap on aspiration" and "steep cuts" in tax credits have pushed many families who live below the poverty line "into deeper hardship".

     
  187.  
    1400:

    As we come to the end of our round-up of reaction to David Cameron's speech, here's a reminder of BBC political editor Nick Robinson's verdict: The PM was saying "we're not where we hoped to be" on the deficit and the economy "but I know we can do it". And he was warning us that if we don't, the country is sunk. There wasn't the sense in the hall of "cor, blimey" as there had been in the case of Ed Miliband's speech to the Labour conference, but David Cameron did try to answer his party's critics.

     
  188.  
    1405:

    The close of Conservative conference brings an end to the three largest Westminster parties' conferences. But conference season continues with the SNP meeting in Perth from 18-21 October. You can catch up on all our coverage on the BBC News website's special conference report.

     

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