Tony Blair: 'West should focus on radical Islam'

 

Tony Blair: "We should be on the side of those who favour religiously tolerant societies and modern economies"

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Tony Blair has warned Western leaders they must put aside their differences with Russia over Ukraine to focus on the threat of Islamic extremism.

In a speech the former UK prime minister - now a Middle East envoy - said powerful nations must "take sides" and back "open-minded" groups.

Mr Blair told the BBC ahead of the speech the West would pay a "very heavy price" for not intervening in Syria.

He said the opportunity to create "an optimistic solution" had been missed.

Mr Blair gave his speech at Bloomberg in London amid high tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine.

Western leaders accuse Russia of using undercover military personnel to back separatists in eastern Ukraine - a claim Russia denies.

No-fly zones

Before the speech, the former PM - now envoy for the quartet of the UN, EU, US and Russia - spoke to the BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner.

He argued the West had a "responsibility but also an interest" in making sure that "huge struggle" was "resolved in the right way".

"However much people may think we can just push it to one side and forget about it, I think that would be a mistake.

"Above all, we have to commit. We have to engage."

On the issue of Syria, Mr Blair said he understood the UK's reluctance not to take military action, but he would have pushed for the imposition of no-fly zones had he still been in office two years ago.

"I know what the difficult consequences are of intervention, but if you look at Syria you see the consequences of non-intervention, and non-intervention there is something for which we will pay a very heavy price."

'Curiously reluctant'

In his speech at Bloomberg, Mr Blair called on Western leaders to "elevate the issue of religious extremism to the top of the agenda".

And they must co-operate with other countries - "in particular, Russia and China" - regardless of "other differences".

Site of a bombed building in Aleppo (20 April 2014) At least 150,000 people have been killed in Syria's three-year civil war

He argued the threat posed by a radical view which "distorts and warps Islam's true message" was "spreading across the world".

"It is destabilising communities and even nations. It is undermining the possibility of peaceful co-existence in an era of globalisation.

Start Quote

Above all, we have to commit. We have to engage”

End Quote Tony Blair Middle East envoy

"And in the face of this threat we seem curiously reluctant to acknowledge it and powerless to counter it effectively."

He called on leaders to consider the "absurdity" of spending billions of dollars on security against an ideology which is being "advocated" in the schools and institutions of "countries with whom we have intimate security and defence relationships".

"Some of those countries of course wish to escape from the grip of this ideology, but often it is hard for them to do so within their own political constraints," he added.

"This struggle between what we may call the open-minded and the closed-minded is at the heart of whether the 21st Century turns in the direction of peaceful co-existence or conflict between people of different cultures."

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 1011.

    I thought this was about commenting on his view on radical Islam, not Why I hate Blair.
    Any comments on the subject matter?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 1010.

    Yo Blair, it is you that's responsible for Radical Islam. You and your fellow purveyor of religous genocide, Bush. Even if the West is under assault thanks to you, it won't quite be on the scale of mass-murder you commited.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 1009.

    He never visited the wounded from the last war he got us into. That's what I remember about the quality of this politician. A discredit to this country.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 1008.

    @997 The brain washing argument is much over stated. Those involved in terrorism/militancy see themselves as combatants in a war. This may not fit with your idea of mad ignorant people being brainwashed, but until we understand the reasons they feel they are at war then we won't solve these issues. I'm not an apologist for the terror & violence on either side, but very little is brain washing.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 1007.

    The only kind of intervention we should have entertained in Syria was telling the Saudis and Qataris to stop supplying resources to the insurgents. From that moral high ground, we could then have pressured the Russians to do the same vis a vis Assad. Yet again, Blair shows himself intellectually and morally ill-equipped to play any role in Middle Eastern politics

 

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  1.  
    @nigelfletcher 14:01: Nigel Fletcher, ex-Conservative adviser

    tweets: I saw both Miliband and Cameron after they'd given their speeches. I'd say this sums it up. #CPC14. See photo

     
  2.  
    Text: 61124 13:56: Get involved

    David Holt, Margate. Kent: As a lifelong Labour supporter who lives in Margate I'd like to thank the prime minister for showing me a third way of supporting Ed Miliband by voting for Nigel Farage. My Labour vote is wasted in North Thanet! But thanks to David Cameron I now know my vote can now be effective thank you.

     
  3.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk 13:53: Get involved

    Chris Tuck: What a difference from last week's leaders speech. Coherent, sensible, planned and delivered with emotion. Without the predictable rhetoric of class war.

     
  4.  
    Text: 61124 13:52: Get involved

    BBC News website reader: Cameron can stamp his foot and have a strop with his party faithful re our NHS. It cuts no mustard with voters.

     
  5.  
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  6.  
    @BBCNormanS 13:48: Norman Smith, BBC

    tweets: 800,000 tax payers will be taken out of higher rate tax band say Tory sources #cpc14

     
  7.  
    13:46: Business reaction

    The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) welcomes pledges to maintain low corporation tax rates - but calls for further reductions in business rates. While applauding the PM's focus on addressing the UK's housing shortage, the BCC says governments need to be more ambitious and support private sector construction of at least 200,000 new homes per annum. Low corporation taxes are also welcomed by the Confederation of British Industry as a "positive signal to business". The organisation notes David Cameron's "commitment to a long-term economic plan for a successful Britain" - but stresses how "vital" access to the EU single market is for UK businesses.

     
  8.  
    @MASieghart 13:43: Mary Ann Sieghart, Journalist

    tweets: 'Unlike some, I prefer to keep private conversations private,' says Gove on #WATO. Do hope he's not dissing the PM.

     
  9.  
    13:41: Costs

    According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies' Paul Johnson, the combined cost of tax cuts promised by David Cameron under a Conservative government would be £7bn a year by 2020. Mr Johnson says that "even without tax giveaways plans to cut deficit down will require really extraordinary spending cuts" and adds that it will be "very important to understand how this is paid for".

     
  10.  
    @David_Cameron 13:37: David Cameron

    tweets: My commitment to 30 million hardworking taxpayers: the @Conservatives will make sure your hard work is rewarded. See photo

     
  11.  
    13:34: Gove on MPs' souls

    Asked about the defections to UKIP, Chief Whip Michael Gove says "he cannot see into the souls" of his fellow MPs and if people are "determined to be deceitful" there is little that he can do about it. He accuses Mark Reckless of "dishonouring" commitments he made to be in Birmingham and campaign for the party in Clacton. But he says he believes all remaining Tory MPs are "fantastically decent".

     
  12.  
    @FraserNelson 13:32: Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator

    Tweets: "Cameron is right to focus on 'me in Downing St or Ed Miliband in Downing St'. Even now he is the Tory party's most valuable single asset."

     
  13.  
    @George_Osborne 13:27: George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer

    Tweets: "Best speech PM's given. Spelt out clear plan for next 5 years. Contrast with last week couldn't be starker".

     
  14.  
    13:25: 'Powerful signal' BBC Radio 4

    Michael Gove is doing the rounds after his leader's speech. He tells the World at One that he disagrees with his former adviser Dominic Cummings, who has claimed that the prime minister previously said there was "no money" for such tax cuts. He says the tax plans "send a very powerful signal" that the Conservatives will enable hard-working people to keep more of their own money.

     
  15.  
    13:23: Appreciation
    Conservative activists
     
  16.  
    13:21: MEPs grill Hill

    In other news, the UK's nomination for the next European Commission, Lord Hill, is facing a pre-confirmation hearing in the European Parliament. He is being scrutinised by MEPs from the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on the financial services portfolio he has been given by Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker.

     
  17.  
    13:20: IFS on tax cuts

    The proposal to raise the personal allowance to £12,500 will cost £7bn, the Institute for Fiscal Studies says. The think tank's director Paul Johnson tells the BBC it is a "big cost" - more than double the amount of welfare savings announced by George Osborne earlier this week.

     
  18.  
    13:19: Personal plea Nick Robinson Political editor

    The speech was highly personal. The prime minister was almost saying: "You may not like me or my party but you have a simple choice between me and Ed Miliband." The Conservatives think this is a winning message.

     
  19.  
    Text: 61124 13:12: Get involved

    Richard, Worksop: Well I'm nailing my vote to the Tory flag pole, well delivered helpful to me and my family - I live in a labour fortress though so won't make a difference.

     
  20.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk 13:12: Get involved

    Julie in Kent: Great speech but what about the people in their forties who lost their homes the last time Tories were in and negative equity was one of the most used phrases ever, and have never recovered. They don't qualify for all these first time buyer schemes and are looking only at becoming 'rest of life renters!' What are the Tories doing to help this group?

     
  21.  
    13:11: Letting go

    Conservative chief whip Michael Gove tells BBC Daily Politics that David Cameron's pledge to raise the 40p income rate tax threshold will cost "just under £2bn". He confirms that the announced tax cuts would not take place until the books are balanced. Andrew Neil raises Conservative MP defections to UKIP, and asks Mr Gove why he is "so useless" at his job. In an entertaining exchange, Mr Gove says he tries his best, to which Mr Neil suggests "Your best is not good enough". "Well that's what my mother's always told tell me," Mr Gove responds. He says once someone decides "in their heart" they are going to leave a political party or an organisation it is hard to stop them.

    Andrew Neil and Michael Gove
     
  22.  
    13:09: A sense of relief?
    The Camerons
     
  23.  
    @bbcnickrobinson 13:05: Nick Robinson, BBC

    tweets: Cameron's speech = classic Tory Coke - sound money, tax cuts, a fight with Europe. The question - has Britain got the taste for it?

     
  24.  
    13:04: Farage reaction

    UKIP leader Nigel Farage says: "None of David Cameron's promises are achievable without fundamental treaty change. Is that what he is now suggesting?"

     
  25.  
    13:02: Main points

    Just a recap of the main points from the PM's speech. He promised to raise the point at which people start paying income tax to earnings of £12,500 a year and to increase the threshold for higher-rate income tax to £50,000. He also pledged not to cut NHS funding in England between 2015 and 2020, and to abolish exclusive zero-hours contracts.

     
  26.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk 12:58: Get involved

    Chris, Notts: Cameron looks very strong today, he made Miliband look like a fool.

     
  27.  
    Text: 61124 12:58: Get involved

    BBC News website reader: I like the idea of that tax cut, but how on earth is it going to be paid for?

     
  28.  
    12:54: Michael Gove Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Conservative Chief Whip Michael Gove tells Andrew Neil that he is not going to say "what is in each progressive Budget", but that the promises made by David Cameron in his speech will be fulfilled by 2020.

     
  29.  
    Text: 61124 12:52: Get involved

    BBC News website reader: Liked Cameron's speech! Sounded good. Still need to know how it gets funded, economic growth?

     
  30.  
    Text: 61124 12:51: Get involved

    Ben from Gloucestershire: How about some balance? I, like millions of others, see through Cameron's predictable party conference rhetoric. Not remarkable, predictable.

     
  31.  
    12:49: Robinson verdict Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    BBC political editor Nick Robinson says the speech was a "classic Tory" one, arguing for tax cuts and a fight with Europe. But he also notes that Labour will immediately ask: "Where is this cash coming from?"

     
  32.  
    12:47: Big exit
    David and Samantha Cameron
     
  33.  
    Text: 61124 12:45: Get involved

    Chris, in Lancashire: Whatever your political views, you have to say that speech was brilliant.

     
  34.  
    @Kevin_Maguire 12:45: Kevin Maguire, Daily Mirror associate editor & New Statesman columnist

    tweets: On style, Cam gave Mili a lecture on how a podium and autocue can trump walking and forgetting. On substance, however...

     
  35.  
    12:45: Mac is back

    David Cameron leaves the stage to the sound of Don't Stop by Fleetwood Mac - a song much-heard at Bill Clinton campaign rallies in 1992.

     
  36.  
    12:44: It's over
    David Cameron and Samantha Cameron
     
  37.  
    12:44: Speech done

    Reaching his finale, David Cameron says: "Let's not go back to square one. Let's finish what we have begun. Let's build a Britain we are proud to call home, for you, for your family, for everyone." He receives a standing ovation from the crowd, and is joined by his wife Samantha on stage.

     
  38.  
    12:42: 'Better future'

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  39.  
    12:39: Cameron jokes about Farage and Miliband
    David Cameron addressing the conference
     
  40.  
    12:39: 'Proud again'

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  41.  
    12:37: Farage

    David Cameron says there is only one real choice - the Conservatives or Labour. A vote for UKIP is a vote for Labour, he adds. On 7 May you could "go to bed with Nigel Farage and wake up with Ed Miliband", the PM warns.

     
  42.  
    12:35: Healthcare spending

    Here is the breakdown of how the government allocated funds to healthcare services in the 2012-13 calendar year, via the BBC's Nick Triggle.

    Spending on health care services 2012-13
     
  43.  
    12:35: Bill of Rights

    David Cameron pledges a new British Bill of Rights under a future Conservative government, and the abolition of Labour's Human Rights Act.

     
  44.  
    12:34: Migration statistics

    Here are the official statistics on international migration since 1995.

    Long-term international migration
     
  45.  
    12:33: Immigration

    David Cameron recaps on his vision for a future Britain - where reward will follow effort and if you put in you get out. But it must also be strong in the world and control its own destiny, he adds, and makes reference to immigration. Mr Cameron says this will be at the very heart of his EU renegotiation strategy. He pledges that he will "not take no for an answer" on free movement. Anyone who thinks he can't achieve this should judge him by his record, he tells activists - pointing out that he secured the first ever EU budget cut. Only the Conservatives can offer the answer on Europe, and deliver the in/out referendum, he adds.

     
  46.  
    Text: 61124 12:32: Get involved

    BBC News website reader: Wow a tax cut for middle income earners. I must be dreaming. Now that would make a huge difference

     
  47.  
    @JohnRentoul 12:32: John Rentoul, Columnist, Independent on Sunday

    tweets: Got me. Well deserved standing ovation for Cameron saying, How dare Labour frighten people about his intentions on the NHS.

     
  48.  
    12:31: Unemployment

    Here are the official figures on unemployment and claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance since 1992.

    Unemployment and Jobseeker's Allowance in the UK 1992-2014
     
  49.  
    12:30: Deficit/surplus

    David Cameron has promised to cut the deficit and achieve a government surplus. Here is the official projection for the next five years.

    Structural deficit and surplus
     
  50.  
    @JamesManning4 12:29: James Manning, Head of Social at @TheSunNewspaper

    tweets: Huge emotion from Cameron on the NHS there. Remarkable moment.

     
  51.  
    12:29: Breaking News

    David Cameron promises to ring-fence the NHS budget from government spending cuts over the course of the next parliament, if the Conservatives win power. He says this is only made possible because of the government's economic management. Labour will "never understand" that you can only have a strong NHS if you have a strong economy, he adds. Remember, health care is a devolved matter in the UK, so these proposals are for the NHS in England.

     
  52.  
    12:28: NHS

    David Cameron accuses Labour of spreading "lies" about the NHS - and says Labour is the party of the scandal of Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust. He recalls his experience of the health service with his late son, Ivan, and tells conference: "How dare they suggest I would ever put that at risk for other people's children." The party rises to its feet in support.

     
  53.  
    12:26: Pensions

    David Cameron hails the government's pensions reforms, which meets with applause from party activists.

     
  54.  
    @DuncanWeldon 12:25: Duncan Weldon, Economics Correspondent, BBC Newsnight

    tweets: Raising the higher rate threshold to £50,000 would cost around £5.5bn. So this tax package has a total cost of approx £17.5bn.

     
  55.  
    12:24: Teenagers

    David Cameron praises the National Citizens' Service - and pledges that a future Conservative government would guarantee a place on the scheme for every teenage in the country.

     
  56.  
    12:23: Unions

    Some more Labour attack from David Cameron - as he criticises the party's links with the unions. He says the Conservatives are the trade union for ordinary hard-working people and families.

     
  57.  
    @patrick_kidd 12:23: Patrick Kidd, Editor of The Times Diary column

    tweets: This is a really good speech. Unless you viscerally hate Cameron and the Tories in which case nothing he could say would change you.

     
  58.  
    Tweet: @BBCPolitics 12:22: Get involved

    @Brynleydm tweets: @BBCLouise @BBCPolitics Cameron speech full of what no mention of how

     
  59.  
    12:22: Education

    David Cameron tells activists the education system has improved significantly thanks to the Conservatives' education reforms - "with teachers who feel like leaders again". But Labour would risk all this, he claims. He attacks shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt, who he claims is trying to restrict the educational advantages he had has a child - whereas "I want to spread them to every child" in the country.

     
  60.  
    12:21: Samantha Cameron hears her husband talk about their daughter
    Samantha Cameron watching her husband
     
  61.  
    12:20: Home ownership

    David Cameron turns to housing. He says planning reforms and the Help to Buy scheme have boosted housing supply and helped first-time buyers to get on to the housing ladder. Labour was wrong to oppose these policies, the PM adds. He reiterates the Conservatives' plan for 100,000 new starter homes for first-time buyers under the age of 40 at 20% off the market value. The Conservatives are the party of home ownership once again, Mr Cameron declares.

     
  62.  
    @paulwaugh 12:18: Paul Waugh, Editor of PoliticsHome.com

    tweets: Cameron conference audience feeling 'At last, a proper tax cut for those on middle incomes!'

     
  63.  
    12:17: Forgetting

    David Cameron goes on the attack now - criticising Ed Miliband for forgetting to mention the deficit in his speech. In a conciliatory note, Mr Cameron says people forget car keys and that he even forget his child in a pub (queue an apology to his wife, Samantha, in the audience). But you cannot be prime minister of this country if you forget to mention the most important issue it faces, he adds.

     
  64.  
    @rosschawkins 12:16: Ross Hawkins, BBC

    tweets: Cameron takes aim at Nick Clegg's fox

     
  65.  
    12:15: Spending choice

    Let the message go out that under the Conservatives, if you work hard and do the right thing, we say you should keep all of your own money to spend as you choose, David Cameron tells conference.

     
  66.  
    12:15: PM: Minimum-wage earners to pay "nothing"
    David Cameron on taxes
     
  67.  
    12:13: Breaking News

    Another tax announcement - David Cameron says far too many people have been dragged into the 40% tax rate - and pledges to bring back "fairness" to tax system. He says a future Tory government would raise the threshold from £41,900 to £50,00.

     
  68.  
    12:13: 'Zilch'

    David Cameron says raising the income tax threshold to £12,500 will take one million more people out of income tax, and give a tax cut to 30 million people. Those on the minimum wage working 30 hours a week or more will pay "zilch" in income tax, he says to applause.

     
  69.  
    12:11: Breaking News

    A future Conservative government will raise the tax free personal allowance from £10,500 to £12,500, David Cameron pledges.

     
  70.  
    12:11: More on taxes

    We need tax cuts for hard working people, David Cameron tells activists.

     
  71.  
    12:11: Taxes

    David Cameron says he wants working people to be able to take home more of their money. He cites previous action, including raises in the personal income tax allowance - which has taken three million people out of the income tax system altogether: a tax cut for 25 million people, he adds. The PM tells conference he wants to go further - but says it will only be possible by reducing the deficit, which requires a further £25bn of savings.

     
  72.  
    12:10: 'Yorkshireman' trending on Twitter

    @TradeDesk_Steve tweets: Cameron performs an impression of William Hague - says Hague is our greatest living Yorkshireman. @tonyhatfield tweets: Odd that political commentators are obsessed in debating whether Hague is 'best living Yorkshireman'. #cpc2014 #bbcdp

     
  73.  
    12:09: Welfare plan

    On tax avoidance, David Cameron adds that companies must "pay what you owe". Turning to welfare, he says the Conservatives will stick to their plan which is "working". He tells activists that 800,00 fewer people are on the main out-of-work benefits thanks to the Conservatives' welfare reforms. He reiterates policy announcements made this week, including more apprenticeships and a lower benefits cap. The Conservatives are the real party of compassion on social justice, Mr Cameron adds.

     
  74.  
    12:05: Corporate taxes

    David Cameron pledges that a future Conservative government will have the lowest corporate taxes in the G20.

     
  75.  
    12:05: If a selfie isn't possible...
    Audience member taking a picture of David Cameron
     
  76.  
    12:04: Commitments

    David Cameron sets out Conservative commitments for the next five years, including more jobs, help to buy homes, lower taxes - but says these are only possible if the government sticks to its long-term economic plan.

     
  77.  
    12:01: 'Nothing's easy'

    The prime minister says the past four years of government have been about "laying the foundations" for Britain's future growth by steering the economy to recovery - but that the next five years will be about improving people's living standards. It's about "you, and your family - and helping you to get on", he adds. But he warns that nothing comes easy - and says the British public know this.

     
  78.  
    12:00: 'Chance for all'

    I believe in something for something, not something for nothing, David Cameron tells conference. He stresses his deep patriotism and desire to make Britain a place that everyone is proud to call home. This is not just about making the lines on the graph go in the right direction - it is about helping people to live better lives, he adds. A country that rewards hard work, "not a free-for-all, but a chance for all".

     
  79.  
    11:58: Future

    David Cameron says he wants to secure a working majority at the general election, telling conference that entering into coalition with the Lib Dems was not what he wanted to do but what he had to do. He's now setting out his vision for Britain's future.

     
  80.  
    11:57: English devolution

    David Cameron says he has one more task for William Hague - to ensure "fairness" in the UK's constitutional settlement. He says further devolved powers for Scotland must be matched by greater English devolution - and vows English votes for English laws.

     
  81.  
    @toryboypierce 11:57: Andrew Pierce, Journalist

    tweets: Having met Michael Gove's puppy he's right. You would trust it more than Ed Miliband to do down Putin

     
  82.  
    11:57: William Hague laughs at David Cameron's impersonation
    William Hague laughing
     
  83.  
    11:56: Prime mimicker

    David Cameron draws laughter from the crowd as he attempts to impersonate ex-Conservative leader William Hague. He says he owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Mr Hague, who is standing down as an MP at the general election. Activists give Mr Hague a standing ovation.

     
  84.  
    11:56: Jihadists warning

    David Cameron highlights the UK's role in military operations against IS militants in Iraq - and says there is no walk-on-by option. He says the Conservatives will do whatever it takes to keep the country safe. To British nationals who go abroad to jihadist wars in Syria and Iraq, Mr Cameron sends a message: "You are an enemy of the UK and you should expect to be treated as such."

     
  85.  
    11:53: 'Hellish crucible'

    David Cameron tells conference he wants to set out how to build a Britain that "everyone is proud to call home". He pays tribute to UK combat troops in Afghanistan - who are returning from operations at the end of the year. Activists applaud. He goes on to stress the threat posed by Islamist extremism which has found a "hellish crucible" with IS in Iraq.

     
  86.  
    11:52: The cabinet stands to applaud
    The Cabinet applauds David Cameron
     
  87.  
    @janemerrick23 11:51: Jane Merrick, Political Editor of @indyonsunday & columnist for @independent

    tweets: "The run up to that referendum was the most nerve-racking of my life" says Cameron. Good honest admission #cpc14

     
  88.  
    11:50: David Cameron gets standing ovation
    David Cameron entering the stage
     
  89.  
    11:50: Scottish referendum

    David Cameron opens by talking about the Scottish independence referendum. He tells conference of his pride at being able to stand there as prime minister "of four nations in one United Kingdom". He pays tribute to Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson. He describes the lead-up to the referendum as one of the "most nervous weeks of my life".

     
  90.  
    11:47: PM is here

    Activists are on their feet as David Cameron takes to the stage. Union flags are being waved. His cabinet is lined up along the front row, clapping.

     
  91.  
    @BBCRichardMoss 11:46: Richard Moss, BBC

    tweets: The Killers providing the soundtrack to warm-up video for Cameron speech at #cpc14. Will PM be Mr Brightside? See what I did there.

     
  92.  
    11:45: Daily Politics Live on BBC Two

    Danny Finkelstein, columnist for The Times and a Conservative peer, says the confidence in the Conservative Party this week is based on the fact that Ed Miliband had a "very bad week".

     
  93.  
    11:44: Not long

    The audience is being treated to a short film before the leader's speech. David Cameron's wife, Samantha, has just taken her seat.

     
  94.  
    @BBCLouise 11:43: Louise Stewart, BBC

    tweets: Gove says he would trust his Bichon Frisée puppy dog Snowy over Ed Miliband to face down Putin

     
  95.  
    @BBCNormanS 11:42: Norman Smith, BBC

    tweets: Theresa May leadership stakes go up another notch as Michael Gove refers to her as "The Iron Lady" #cpc14

     
  96.  
    11:41: Miliband

    Michael Gove takes a swipe at Labour's record in office. He says the only way to secure Britain's future is with a Conservative government led by David Cameron. Ed Miliband cannot provide leadership as he's never offered anything other than a "warm bath of cliche", Mr Gove tells the hall. He comments that Mr Miliband's stance on UK air strikes against IS in Iraq and Syria was "as reassuring as a Kleenex parachute".

     
  97.  
    11:40: Gove warms up crowd
    Michael Gove
     
  98.  
    @Tinglepolitics 11:39: Len Tingle, BBC

    tweets: Outside #Conservative conference. No doubting what this bloke wants-he mentions 1940 and the Germans a lot #CPC14. See photo

     
  99.  
    11:38: Social justice

    Michael Gove says society is fairer, with the gap between rich and poor "closing". He brands the Conservatives as the party of social justice and progress - as "only we know" the importance of a secure economy and a strong leader. Labour is unfit to govern, he adds.

     
  100.  
    11:36: Praise

    Michael Gove praises David Cameron and George Osborne's "guts" for sticking to their long-term economic plan. Britain is on the rise again and we must not let Labour pull us back down, he tells activists.

     

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