Vince Cable denies disloyalty over Oakeshott polls

 

Vince Cable: "I was not given any information about these polls"

Related Stories

Vince Cable has denied acting disloyally after one of his closest allies attempted to get Nick Clegg sacked as Liberal Democrat leader.

Lord Oakeshott commissioned polls suggesting the party would do better without Mr Clegg at the helm.

Mr Cable admits knowing about some of the polling, but denied knowing about ones in Mr Clegg's own constituency.

He denied wanting Mr Clegg's job before the next election telling BBC News: "I am supporting the party leader."

The business secretary, who is on a trade mission in China, said he wanted the "in-fighting" in the party to end, saying: "There is absolutely no leadership issue. We have a united team."

Asked about the polls suggesting the party would do better under his leadership, Mr Cable said he was not going to "speculate" about "abstract possibilities".

BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson said that despite Mr Cable's pledge of loyalty "lingering" questions remained because the business secretary knew that the polls had asked about whether a change of leader would improve the party's fortunes but appears not to have told Mr Clegg.

Nick Clegg and Vince Cable Nick Clegg and Vince Cable, enjoying a cuppa during the 2010 General Election campaign

The polls, which suggested the party would lose fewer seats at the next election if Mr Cable or, to a lesser extent Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander, was the leader instead of Mr Clegg were leaked to The Guardian in the wake of disastrous local and European election results for the party.

The man who paid for them, Lord Oakeshott, has been agitating for the removal of Mr Clegg for some time. He has now quit the party, claiming it is "heading for disaster" under Mr Clegg.

In his resignation statement, he said he hoped the polls would give activists the information they needed to force a leadership election, adding that Mr Cable knew about the polls - including the one in Mr Clegg's Sheffield Hallam constituency - some weeks ago.

line break

That Sheffield Hallam poll

Call centre

The ICM poll commissioned by Lord Oakeshott in Nick Clegg's Sheffield Hallam constituency, which Mr Cable insists he knew nothing about, was carried out between 29 April and 4 May. It asked 500 of Mr Clegg's constituents: "I would like you to think again about a General Election to the Westminster Parliament being held in your area tomorrow. Suppose for a moment that Nick Clegg stepped down as Liberal Democrat leader, and the business secretary Vince Cable moved into the job. If Vince Cable were leader of the Liberal Democrats and there were a General Election tomorrow, which party do you think you would vote for?" Some 22% said they would vote for the Lib Dems - just 1% more than said they would vote Lib Dem if Mr Clegg was the leader at the next election. The Lib Dems would retain the seat, however, beating the Conservatives, on 21%, into second place. With Mr Clegg as leader Labour, on 22%, would win the seat, according to the survey. Mr Clegg retained Sheffield Hallam in 2010 with 53.4% of the vote and a majority of 15,284.

line break

The business secretary has repeatedly denied this, insisting he knew about Lord Oakeshott's polling in his Twickenham constituency and some other areas, but not in Mr Clegg's constituency or fellow minister Danny Alexander's Inverness constituency.

Mr Cable said there was "no disloyalty whatever" and he had made clear that the polling carried out in Mr Clegg's constituency and Inverness was "quite wrong".

Speaking to BBC Radio Sheffield, Mr Clegg said of Mr Cable: "He clearly didn't know at all about a poll being conducted in Sheffield."

He added that Mr Cable had been "very critical" about the poll having taken place.

Lord Oakeshott Lord Oakeshott is a long-standing critic of Nick Clegg

Mr Clegg admitted the party had lost support since joining the coalition in 2010, but that to leave now - as Lord Oakeshott wants - "would harm the Liberal Democrats for a generation".

He added: "Clearly, we had some really, really bad election results last week. That, of course, quite rightly means there's a lot of questions and soul searching about what we do as a party over the next year."

Prime Minister David Cameron defended Mr Cable, saying he was "playing an important role" as business secretary.

Asked whether he trusts Mr Cable, in the wake of the allegations surrounding Lord Oakeshott, he said: "I judge my ministers on the results they are delivering."

Lib Dem party sources conceded that continued turmoil could threaten to destabilise the party but they said Lord Oakeshott's departure had put an end to what they called a "ham-fisted coup attempt".

Nick Clegg: "Vince Cable clearly didn't know a thing about the poll being conducted"

Mr Clegg has faced calls to step down from 300 activists while a number of constituency associations, including Liverpool and Cambridge, are to hold meetings to discuss their leader's future.

He has said it was "wholly unacceptable" that a senior member of the party "rather than trying to go out and win votes was spending money and time trying to undermine the fortunes of the party".

It emerged on Tuesday that Lord Oakeshott had paid for an ICM poll into Mr Clegg's electoral appeal, with results suggesting the Lib Dems would pick up votes in four seats, including Mr Clegg's, if Mr Cable or other figures replaced Mr Clegg as leader.

The poll suggested the party was on course to lose Sheffield Hallam and three other seats - Cambridge, Redcar and Wells - next year unless there was a change at the top.

 

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
 

Comments 5 of 1691

 

More UK Politics stories

RSS

Politics Live

  1.  
    @GuidoFawkes Guido Fawkes, political commentator

    tweets: ITV Hosting a Secret 'Leaders' Debate' Next Friday

     
  2.  
    @geraldhowarth Sir Gerald Howarth, Conservative MP

    tweets: Who do the BBC/ other broadcasters think they are? Completely unaccountable, now want to rig the election by deciding #electiondebate format

     
  3.  
    20:45: Cameron 'slippery' BBC Radio 4

    Labour's shadow culture minister Chris Bryant has described David Cameron as "slippery" because he had argued in favour of the debates when he was in opposition, and now appears unwilling to get involved with them. He did however concede that former prime minister Tony Blair also rejected proposals to have a TV debate when he was in power.

     
  4.  
    20:37: Any Questions - TV debates BBC Radio 4

    Tory Mark Harper said the prime minister was in favour of the debates "but not cramming them into the election campaign". He accused the broadcasters of getting "themselves into a right old mess".

     
  5.  
    20:32: Net Migration BBC Radio 4

    The panel has moved on to issue of the UK's net migration figures. Leader of the Plaid Cymru group at Westminster Elfyn Llwyd described David Cameron's "no-ifs-and-buts" pledge as "the greatest faux pas in the last five years".

     
  6.  
    20:28: Abuse BBC Radio 4

    Minister for disabled people Mark Harper MP told Any Questions: "A number of professionals knew what was going on and significant numbers of children suffered significant abuse over a number of years. We need a dialogue [with professionals] but we need to take further steps to make sure children are protected."

     
  7.  
    20:28: Abuse BBC Radio 4

    The Any Questions panel have been talking about the government's plan to bring in legislation to make teachers and others in authority raise the alarm if they think a child is being abused. The idea is that this would be an extension of the crime of wilful neglect and it follows a report about the sexual exploitation of teenage girls and children in Oxfordshire. Leader of the Plaid Cymru group at Westminster Elfyn Llwyd MP said there were enough laws in this area already. "What we need is to ensure better training for professionals such as teachers, but we should not place a burden on them by making it mandatory," he said.

     
  8.  
    20:22: Radio 4's Any Questions

    Political debate continues right now from Monmouth School in Wales with the President of the Liberal Democrats Sal Brinton, Labour's Shadow Culture Minister Chris Bryant, Minister for Disabled People Mark Harper, and the leader of the Plaid Cymru group at Westminster Elfyn Llwyd. To listen live click here.

     
  9.  
    20:14: More from Elstein

    Here's a bit more from former TV executive David Elstein: "The next step on this interesting chain of events would probably be going all the way round the second seven-way debate - the BBC one - all the way to the Sky and Channel 4 head-to-head with Miliband and if he [David Cameron] can drag that forward to the end of March, and the broadcasters willing, Ed Miliband says he's willing, it's actually a bit tricky then for Cameron to say well I'm still not going to do it.

    "Me feeling is that he [David Cameron] is not going to do the second seven-way debate, I think that's pretty clear, so the BBC will have a rather awkward decision to make as to whether to make it a six-way debate. I don't think Sky and Channel 4 can possibly empty chair the prime minister in a two-handed debate; it then turns into an interview with Ed Miliband, and under the Ofcom code of conduct they would then have to offer Cameron his own 90-minute interview with or without an empty chair."

     
  10.  
    20:04: Tories 'might do deal with ITV'
    David Elstein

    Former TV news executive David Elstein said the game David Cameron and broadcasters were playing was "somewhere between tennis and chess".

    He said: "Even as the broadcasters put out their fairly defiant statement, Sky and Channel 4 completely undercut it, by saying they were willing to move the head-to-head with Ed Miliband anywhere from 30 April right through to next week, that puts the ball back in David Cameron's court because what he has insisted is he is not going to do anything after 30 March.

    "My guess is the way it will play out is this. The Conservatives will now try and unwrap the broadcasting cabal by going direct to ITV - who are scheduled to do the first seven-way debate on 2 April - and say look 'I'm willing to do it before 30 March you're trying to do it on 2 April why don't we compromise?' And given that the chairman of ITV happens to be a former chairman of the Conservative party you would have thought that was a conversation that might go reasonably well."

     
  11.  
    SNP doubles crowdfunding appeals 19:50: The Guardian

    The Guardian considers the health of the SNP's election war chest, following the party's use of the site Crowdfunder to fundraise. The paper's Scotland correspondent Severin Carrell has blogged that: "Has this crowdfunding appeal flagged up an unexpected issue for the SNP? Is it running short of money, for what is emerging as the biggest and most expensive general election campaign in its history?"

     
  12.  
    19:27: Look ahead Mark D'Arcy Parliamentary correspondent

    In his look ahead to next week in Parliament, Mark D'Arcy says we will see "the (likely) final Commons speeches of Gordon Brown and Jack Straw, the completion (or maybe defeat) of a myriad of private members' bills - plus a series of tussles between ministers and backbenchers over plain packaging of cigarettes, EU issues and defence spending".

     
  13.  
    19:23: Salmond: We'll call the tune in Westminster
    Alex Salmond

    Scotland will be able to "call the tune" at Westminster after the general election, working with Plaid Cymru and the Green Party, Alex Salmond has said. The former First Minister predicted "neither Tory or Labour will win an overall majority - neither are fit to govern". Speaking in Aberdeenshire, he said: "It is also clear that Scotland is swinging behind SNP candidates the length and breadth of the country. In that situation Scotland can call the tune in the next Westminster Parliament."

     
  14.  
    19:20: Your views

    We have been asking for your views on today's political events, here's a selection of some of them:

    Jamie Page:

    Talk about the BBC getting too high an opinion of itself. Very unedifying. Do not pretend you are pushing ahead with your debate plans on my behalf because you most categorically are not.

    Jim Quaife:

    There is a fundamental question. When did it become acceptable for the media to call the shots? In the current climate of openness one is sometimes reluctant to go against a trend because it might appear to be negative, but regretfully on past performance the level of debate is uninspiring - more akin to a "television show" than serious debate.

    Richard Le Vesconte:

    Cameron and Milliband. Neither of them would say anything worthwhile. How about two empty chairs?

    Keith Davey:

    Cameron's bluff called - imagine he will now pull out entirely. Not a satisfactory way to treat the 22 mlln [sic] people who had enough commitment to the democratic process to watch last time. Tories showing contempt for the electorate if they think people are so gullible to believe their justification for just one debate - just running scared - more honest to say so. Suggest viewing PM Questions each week if you need further examples of contempt for the democratic process and valid questions simply ignored if raising inconvenient issues - see immigration target pledge and PMs response earlier this week.

    You can get in touch by clicking on the "Get Involved" tab above.

     
  15.  
    18:51: Greens on childcare Ross Hawkins Political correspondent, BBC News

    The Green Party has voted to support free universal education and childcare for children aged one to six. The policy was proposed in a motion from the leader Natalie Bennett at the party conference in Liverpool. Despite her support, it does not automatically become a manifesto commitment - instead it will be one of the party's long term aims listed on its website.

     
  16.  
    18:39: Any Questions BBC Radio 4

    Stay with the Politics Live page for the latest political news and comment. At 20:00, we'll be tuning in to Any Questions. Jonathan Dimbleby will be at Monmouth School in Wales with:

    • President of the Liberal Democrats Sal Brinton
    • Labour's shadow culture minister Chris Bryant MP
    • Minister for disabled people Mark Harper MP
    • Leader of the Plaid Cymru group at Westminster Elfyn Llwyd MP.
     
  17.  
    @May2015NS May2015.com - The New Statesman's elections site

    Tweets: This is why Plaid Cymru should never have been invited to #tvdebates. 1/7th as popular as SNP

    Graph of votes
     
  18.  
    18:18: Broadcasters' reaction

    Jonathan Levy, speaking on behalf of the broadcasters, said: "The debates will go ahead with the leaders that turn up and the invitation will remain open to the prime minister should he wish to reconsider his position."

    He added that the group would welcome the opportunity to discuss its proposals with the prime minister.

     
  19.  
    18:11: TV debate

    If you've just joined us, a key story which broke an hour ago is that the broadcasters say they will press ahead with their plans for three TV election debates even though David Cameron has said he will only take part in one. Downing Street says it's "disappointing" the broadcasters have rejected its proposal for the prime minister to debate with six other party leaders. BBC political correspondent Carole Walker says there is a "tense stand-off" between the Conservatives and the broadcasters, "with neither side willing to step down".

     
  20.  
    17:53: More from Ed Miliband

    The leader of the Labour party said: "I think these debates should happen whether David Cameron agrees to them or not, but I think it will be judgement day on the prime minister if he refuses to turn up to these debates because I think people will conclude that he's running from his record, that he can't defend what he's done in government, he can't explain what his future plans are and he's a Prime Minister running scared."

     
  21.  
    17:49: 'Above their station' BBC Radio 4
    Philip Davies

    "I think the broadcasters are getting above their station," according to Tory MP Philip Davies. He told Radio 4's PM: "I think the broadcasters have got to be responsible here, and given that we don't have a presidential system in this country... I don't really see why the broadcasters should turn it into one." He also said that he would be happy to debate with Ed Miliband, saying "No more empty chairs".

     
  22.  
    17:48: Farage in profile James Landale Deputy Political Editor, BBC News
    Nigel Farage

    Away from the TV debates reaction for a second..."Sometimes we forget just how far UKIP has come in a relatively short space of time," James Landale writes in a profile of the UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

     
  23.  
    17:45: PM: Free vote on hunting ban
    The Last Tally Ho?

    The Countryside Alliance magazine's spring issue will reportedly include a piece by David Cameron which includes a pledge that: "The Hunting Act has done nothing for animal welfare. A Conservative Government will give Parliament the opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act on a free vote, with a government Bill in government time."

     
  24.  
    @joncraig Jon Craig, Sky

    tweets: Just spent 24 hours in Scotland. Politicians & political journalists gripped by Ashcroft polling suggesting SNP landslide & Labour wipeout.

     
  25.  
    17:29: Plaid Cymru response: 'Delighted'

    Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood said: "I'm delighted that the broadcasters are holding firm, it would have been wrong for one individual to dictate and change the terms of these debates. So I'm very pleased the broadcasters are sticking with their original plans and that people will have the option of listening and hearing the range of political opinion that's available on 7 May."

     
  26.  
    17:21: Craig Oliver response in full

    David Cameron's communications chief Craig Oliver has said: "I made the prime minister's final position clear in my last letter - he is willing to do a seven-way debate in the week beginning March 23. Clearly it is disappointing that you are not prepared to take him up on that offer. I am ready to discuss at your convenience the logistics of making the debate we have suggested happen."

     
  27.  
    17:20: Ashdown on TV debates
    Paddy AShdown

    Former leader of the Lib Dems Paddy Ashdown said these debates belong to the British people. He said that he thought the broadcasters had got themselves into a "bit of a muddle" but "even if it is imperfect we [the Lib Dems] will take part".

     
  28.  
    17:16: Miliband response

    Ed Miliband says it's "make up your mind time with David Cameron"...."he is a prime minister that is running scared".

     
  29.  
    17:16: Greens on TV debates

    The leader of the Greens, Natalie Bennett, said she thought the broadcasters were doing the "right thing" and it was time to "move on from the debate about the debates and start debating the issues". She accused David Cameron of "damaging trust in British politics".

     
  30.  
    17:10: DUP response: 'Shambles'

    But Peter Robinson, leader of the DUP and First Minister of Northern Ireland, said the debate negotiations had been the "greatest electoral shambles of all time". He said there was "very considerable doubt as to whether the debates will take place". He added: "The broadcasters are not in the position to dictate in the way they are seeking to do." He said they were allowing "parties which are smaller than mine" to take part.

     
  31.  
    17:03: David Cameron's spokesman response

    David Cameron's communications chief Craig Oliver says they have made their final offer and are willing to discuss it, but are disappointed with the broadcasters' decision.

     
  32.  
    16:59: Sturgeon on TV debate developments

    Scottish National Party Leader Nicola Sturgeon said: "David Cameron is clearly running scared of having to answer for his government's record of failure and incompetence - and this arrogance in trying to lay down the law has become his comeuppance. It is entirely up to David Cameron to decide whether having an empty podium will do a better job for the Tories than he is capable of."

     
  33.  
    @politicshome PoliticsHome

    tweets: .@David_Cameron is "doing further damage to trust in British politics" by refusing to take part in more than one TV debate, @natalieben says

     
  34.  
    16:49: TV debates reaction - 'flash of steel'

    Stewart Purvis - former Ofcom partner for content and standards - has told BBC News that there is a "flash of steel" in the broadcasters' reply. He said he thought there was a feeling the broadcasters "had to reply" to the "really very aggressive" letter from the prime minister's communications chief Craig Oliver. He also described the seven-way debates as definitely having "public value", saying they would be "a very worthwhile programme".

     
  35.  
    @hopisen Hopi Sen, blogger

    tweets: Countdown until Clegg et al realise that broadcasters are now proposing to give Ed M his own show if Cameron says no, and so demand balance.

     
  36.  
    16:42: Farage on the debates

    UKIP leader Nigel Farage said: "I am pleased that the broadcasters have stood firm at last, but it would have been far better had they stuck with their original proposal, which included fewer parties. Nonetheless we accept the challenge."

     
  37.  
    @robindbrant Robin Brant - BBC political correspondent

    Tweets: So it's Final offer v final offer in #ge2015 TV debates stand off

     
  38.  
    16:29: TV debates

    You will find more on the TV election debates here.

     
  39.  
    @montie Tim Montgomerie - columnist at The Times

    Tweets: The broadcasters' position is ridiculous: include Plaid Cymru but not the DUP?

     
  40.  
    Carole Walker, BBC Political correspondent

    tweets: Broadcasters appear to be standing by threat to hold debates - even without PM

     
  41.  
    16:15: Two seven-way debates, two hours long

    The broadcasters say "there needs to be two seven-way debates of a minimum of two hours each, within the election campaign, allowing time to properly represent the views of all parties, covering a broad range of subjects". This has been the position broadcasters have outlined in the past.

     
  42.  
    16:12: Full statement

    You can read the full letter from the broadcasters on the TV debates here.

     
  43.  
    16:10: Broadcasters' statement

    The statement says: "The broadcasters would like the prime minister to reconsider taking part in all of these debates. 22 million people watched the leaders' debates in 2010 and there is a public desire and expectation for them to happen again in 2015.

    "The broadcasters' proposals have come after extensive work over the last six months to ensure the public have the opportunity to watch televised election debates once more. The group have worked in an independent, impartial manner, treating invited parties on an equitable basis. They have listened to the views expressed by all parties and adapted the proposals to take into account electoral support.

    "The broadcasters will continue to work closely with all parties invited to take part in the televised debates to bring them to their millions of viewers across the UK. The heads of news of all four broadcasters would welcome the opportunity to meet Mr Cameron, or his representatives, to discuss the debates."

     
  44.  
    @joeyjonessky Joey Jones. Sky News deputy political editor

    tweets: Quite a confrontation between broadcasters and PM just before election. Right or wrong, @David_Cameron isolated. May get quite nasty.

     
  45.  
    16:08: More from broadcasters

    The broadcasters say the debates will go ahead on the following dates:

    • 2 April: ITV produce seven-way debate with the Conservative Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, UKIP, the SNP and Plaid Cymru
    • 16 April: BBC produce seven-way debate with the Conservative Party, Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, UKIP, the SNP and Plaid Cymru
    • 30 April: Sky News and Channel 4 produce head-to-head debate between the prime minister and the leader of the opposition
     
  46.  
    @nick_clegg Nick Clegg, Liberal Democrat leader

    tweets: Come on @David_Cameron you haven't got your own way so accept it and take part. #tvdebates

     
  47.  
    16:06: Analysis Alex Forsyth Political correspondent, BBC News

    This is a big decision for the broadcasters to take, because it runs the risk of allowing Ed Miliband the chance to get his message across unchallenged if David Cameron is "empty chaired".

     
  48.  
    16:02: TV debates to go ahead

    The broadcasters - which include BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 4 - have released a joint statement regarding the TV election debates. They have said that the debates will go ahead as planned, in the same format as originally proposed, and they have asked the prime minster to reconsider his position. The broadcasters intend to forge ahead with plans for three debates to take place on 2 April ITV 16 April BBC and 30 April (Sky News and Channel 4).

     
  49.  
    15:58: Look back

    Team change here and a good time to take a quick look back at some of the main stories of the day:

    • Some Scottish Labour MPs are urging Ed Miliband to rule out a coalition with the SNP after the general election
    • Free TV licences and bus passes for pensioners would stay under a Labour government, Ed Miliband has said, but winter fuel allowances would be taken from better-off pensioners
    • At the Green party conference, leader Natalie Bennett said the poorest in society had been "blamed for the mistakes of the wealthy" and called for a "peaceful political revolution" to end the "failed experiment of austerity"
    • Plaid Cymru demand equal funding for Wales and Scotland in any Westminster coalition talks after the general election in May
    • Researchers at Oxford University estimate the number of migrants settling in England increased by 565,000 in the past three years, with two-thirds coming from other EU countries
    • UKIP leader Nigel Farage says he will "do his best" to avoid personal attacks on his opponents during the general election campaign
    • Drivers in England will get 10 minutes' grace before being fined if they stay too long in council-owned car parking spaces, the government has said
     
  50.  
    15:47: Greens 'idealistic'
    Comres/ITV poll

    The Comres/ITV poll mentioned below also asked respondents the words or phrases they associated with the Greens, UKIP and the Lib Dems.

    The Greens were most likely to be thought of as "idealistic" (41%), UKIP most likely to be seen as "dangerous" (46%) and the Lib Dems most likely to be seen as "middle class" (38%).

     
  51.  
    15:40: Mental health care

    The government is publishing a consultation paper on plans to give people with mental health conditions in England greater control of their care. Ministers promised changes after revelations about abuse at Winterbourne View hospital in Bristol. Care minister Norman Lamb says the changes would put people in charge of their care and promote community support as an alternative to hospital, admitting many families feel "their concerns are ignored".

     
  52.  
    15:33: Plaid Cymru conference
    Leanne Wood

    Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has told her party's spring conference in Caernarfon that she wants income tax powers to be devolved without any referendum. She told party activists: "The Westminster parties have entrenched Wales' funding disadvantage. They should be able to commit to the same funding per head for Wales as Scotland. An additional £1.2 billion for our public services and greater resources to strengthen our country's economic prospects and end Wales' fiscal dependency for once and for all." She also added that her party would create a drugs fund to boost access to new medicines.

     
  53.  
    15:26: Cameron 'cowardice' over debates
    David Cameron MP

    Labourlist has some robust criticism in response to David Cameron's refusal to participate in a head-to-head debate with Ed Miliband: "If he really thought he had a plan, he'd be willing to defend it on whatever TV format he could.

    "His cowardice shows the modern-day Tory party has no heart or soul. It, fundamentally, doesn't know what it stands for."

     
  54.  
    15:19: Ukraine

    The Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, has warned Russia of tighter sanctions over Ukraine. Speaking during a visit to Poland, Mr Hammond said the European Union was ready to take further measures and the conditions of the Minsk ceasefire agreement must be upheld.

     
  55.  
    15:11: DUP will not seek 'narrow party advantage'
    Peter Robinson

    The DUP has released a statement saying it will not align itself with the main parties to seek narrow advantage in any coalition negotiations - but will focus on delivering for Northern Ireland.

    DUP leader and Northern Ireland first minister Peter Robinson MLA said: "Our MPs will not be part of any government coalition. We will not be seeking any Cabinet seats or any narrow party political advantage. The DUP will use its influence to further the best interests of Northern Ireland and of the Union. Unlike other parties we are not ideologically tied to any one of the major parties at Westminster but can do business with either the Conservatives or Labour."

     
  56.  
    @MSmithsonPB Mike Smithson
    ComRes/ITV poll

    tweets: ComRes/ITV poll on public reaction to GRN party policies

     
  57.  
    @MichaelPDeacon Michael Deacon, Telegraph sketchwriter

    tweets: ‏THE WAITING IS ALMOST AT AN END. Green Party press officer says Fully Costed Manifesto will be published "towards the end of March"

     
  58.  
    @johnestevens John Stevens, Daily Mail reporter

    tweets: "Visual minuting" of Natalie's speech #greensurge #gpconf

    Green confernce
     
  59.  
    @TotalPolitics Total Politics

    tweets: Weekly polling review: Conservatives pulling ahead?

     
  60.  
    14:48: 'Vote for the party that cares'
    Green conference

    "I say to you very simply, vote for the party that cares", Ms Bennett tells her conference as she brings her speech to an end. "Vote for the common good. Vote for the politics of the future. Vote Green."

     
  61.  
    14:47: 'Change Britain'

    There are people who want to see business as usual, Natalie Bennett says. To counteract them, we need people use their votes, she adds. If we all vote Green, "we can change Britain".

     
  62.  
    ‏@rosschawkins Ross Hawkins, BBC political correspondent

    tweets: Free social care paid for by wealth tax, higher taxes on those earning over 100k, tax avoidance, Robin Hood tax under Green plan

     
  63.  
    14:45: Young 'have it tough'

    Younger generations "have it tough", Ms Bennett says. That's not the fault of their elders, she adds. "We need to look out for each other."

     
  64.  
    ‏@SophyRidgeSky Sophy Ridge, Political correspondent, Sky News

    tweets: Financial transactions tax - "Robin Hood tax" - and more tax on those earning over £150k going down well in hall #GreenSurge

     
  65.  

    A financial transaction tax would be introduced by the Greens and those earning over £100,000 "should pay more, says Ms Bennett.

     
  66.  
    14:43: Care plan 'means jobs'

    Free social care for those over 65 would mean 200,000 new jobs and training places, Ms Bennett says. It will be a core pledge in their manifesto.

     
  67.  
    @rosschawkins 14:43: Ross Hawkins, BBC political correspondent

    tweets: Natalie Bennett wants free social care for over 65s

     
  68.  
    14:42: 'New taxes are needed'

    The Greens will restore equal care for all - that principle should apply to social care too, Green leader Natalie Bennett says. "Those who have the most should contribute most - new taxes are needed."

     
  69.  
    14:41: Remove market from NHS

    That's why I'm delighted to work to introduce an NHS reinstatement bill that removes the market from the NHS, Natalie Bennett says.

     
  70.  
    14:41: Bennett - NHS

    In the NHS, the infiltration of the profit must be reversed, Ms Bennett says. The market "costs us big time", she adds.

     
  71.  
    @LabourList LabourList

    ‏tweets: 12 target seats Labour are worried they might not win because of the Greens labli.st/1KxwLym

     
  72.  
    14:39: Greens: Power and wealth

    The current model of economics and society serves those with power and wealth, says Green leader Natalie Bennett. We must be citizens first and foremost - paying to common funds to look after the old, weak, poor and sick. This is what the politics of the future will look like, she adds.

     
  73.  
    14:38: No Tory deal

    "Just imagine a strong group of Green MPs", Natalie Bennett says. That group would never support a Tory government, she continues. They would have a huge say and could help develop that new politics she has been talking about, she says.

     
  74.  
    14:37: Climate change

    Speaking about climate change, Natalie Bennett says "we have to be up to the task". She says change has to come - the market is short-sighted and short-term. It is blind and senseless and works for the 1%.

     
  75.  
    @jameschappers James Chapman, Daily Mail political editor

    tweets: .@natalieben: "Noone should be worrying about a fracking drill burrowing into the heart of their community". Eh? #gpconf

     
  76.  
    14:36: Food banks

    Almost half jobs since 2010 are for self-employed people, but many of them are living in poverty, Natalie Bennett says. Individual charity isn't a substitute for collective justice, she says of food banks.

     
  77.  
    @rosschawkins Ross Hawkins - BBC political correspondent

    Tweets: Ed M last week "a society that works for all and not just a few"; Bennett today "society that works for the many not just the few"

     
  78.  
    @rosschawkins Ross Hawkins - BBC political correspondent

    Tweets: Bennett words almost identical to Miliband's — society that works for the many not just the few

     
  79.  
    14:35: 'Demand for change is louder'

    Up and down the country campaigns demanding new politics are growing, Natalie Bennett says: "The demand for change is louder and clearer, at last, the people are fighting back."

     
  80.  
    14:34: 'Green surge'

    The Green surge is more than a hashtag or numbers, Natalie Bennett says. It's the result of members' "commitment" and "hard work". The Greens are a "central player" in British politics, she says.

     
  81.  
    14:33: 'Nobody should live in fear'
    Bennett

    Nobody should live in fear of not being able to put food on the table or going into debt to pay for education, Natalie Bennett says. The politics of the future is not the politics of transaction, she says. That is the "old" and "failed" politics.

     
  82.  
    14:29: 'Politics of the future'

    The "politics of the future delivers for everyone" in our one planet, Natalie Bennett adds. "That's the politics of the Green Party."

     
  83.  
    14:28: 'Agents of change'

    "Britain could be a very different country on 8 May", Natalie Bennett tells delegates at the party's conference. The Greens can be the "agents of change" looking to the "politics of the future", she says.

     
  84.  
    14:27: Political revolution

    Natalie Bennett says voters will have the chance at the election to start "a possibility of a peaceful political revolution". People will be able to stop the poor being punished for the mistakes of the wealthy, she says. "We can deliver a Britain which delivers to all people - a Britain which cares", she adds.

     
  85.  
    @SophyRidgeSky Sophy Ridge, Political correspondent, Sky News

    tweets: Punchy speech from Caroline Lucas - now Natalie Bennett needs to make sure she's not upstaged by the warm up act

     
  86.  
    14:26: Natalie Bennett speech
    Natalie Bennett

    Natalie Bennett on her feet at Green conference now. She thanks Caroline Lucas for being "the stand-out MP" in the current Parliament. She's confident she will be in the next Parliament and beyond, too. It's been a momentous year for the party, putting it at the forefront of British politics and making it the third largest in England and Wales.

     
  87.  
    14:25: Politics without austerity

    Caroline Lucas says the party will defend politics without austerity, nuclear power or demonisation of those who need the welfare state or those who come from abroad.

     
  88.  
    @politicshome PoliticsHome

    tweets: .@CarolineLucas says "opposition to austerity" links @theSNP & @TheGreenParty, calling for a "progressive alliance" between the two #gpconf

     
  89.  
    14:24: NHS pledge

    It's the Greens who set the agenda on a number of issues, Caroline Lucas says. She says the party will champion the NHS reinstatement bill - to reverse "marketisation" of the health service.

     
  90.  
    ‏@rosschawkins Ross Hawkins, BBC political correspondent

    tweets: Caroline Lucas supposed to be introducing Natalie Bennett in show of support. Risk she might simply upstage her

     
  91.  
    14:23: 'More MPs'

    "Just imagine what we can do if we elect more MPs", Caroline Lucas says, adding that leader Natalie Bennett is putting the Greens on course to do that.

     
  92.  
    14:22: Progressive alliance

    With the rise of the SNP and Plaid, we have the chance to form a "progressive alliance", Caroline Lucas, the Greens' MP tells the party's conference. They've worked before on their opposition to austerity and after the election, they could do more is her message. If Labour are a minority government, the Greens could stop them pandering to big business, she says, adding: "Support them when they do the right thing, block them when they're wrong".

     
  93.  
    @politicshome PoliticsHome

    tweets: .@CarolineLucas tells Green party activists at the #gpconf that leader @natalieben is doing a "fantastic job"

     
  94.  
    14:18: Caroline Lucas

    On the general election, Caroline Lucas MP says the Greens are challenging from "a position of strength". This election is different, she says because they have something to defend - her seat in Brighton and Pavilion. That victory has given the party a voice in Parliament, to show "you can be a force for good in politics without selling out your principles".

     
  95.  
    14:17: Caroline Lucas tribute

    Paying tribute to Natalie Bennett, Caroline Lucas MP says she is proud to call her a colleague and friend.

     
  96.  
    14:15: Green conference
    Caroline Lucas

    Green Party leader Natalie Bennett is introduced by the party's MP Caroline Lucas. Ms Lucas welcomes the party's new members. She says the party is "truly democratic". "Your votes count as much as mine," she adds.

     
  97.  
    @SophyRidgeSky Sophy Ridge, Political Correspondent, Sky News

    tweets: Love that the live prompter in front of the stage at Green Party conference leaves gaps for applause

     
  98.  
    @MichaelLCrick Michael Crick, political correspondent, Channel 4 News

    tweets: ITV, I'm told, NOT thinking of going it alone & accepting Downing St proposal for 7-person debate. TV cos to unveil united plans very soon

     
  99.  
    14:10: Natalie Bennett speech

    We're just about to get going with Natalie Bennett's speech to the Green Party conference in Liverpool.

     
  100.  
    @BBCEleanorG Eleanor Garnier, BBC correspondent

    tweets: Standing ovation for @natalieben and all she's done is walk onto the stage #GreenParty

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Woman standingMysterious miracle

    It's extremely unusual and shouldn't give false hope, but what makes the body beat cancer on its own?

Programmes

  • A cyborg cockroachClick Watch

    The cyborg cockroach - why has a computer been attached to this insect’s nervous system?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.