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"

Live text


  • Aiden James 
  • Sean Clare 
  • Kayte Rath 

Last updated 10 October 2012


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".


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.

TWEET 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


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


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.


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.


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...

TWEET 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


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".


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.