Emergency phone and internet data laws to be passed

 

David Cameron: "The public should be worried if we didn't act"

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Emergency powers to ensure police and security services can continue to access phone and internet records are being rushed through Parliament.

Prime Minister David Cameron has secured the backing of all three main parties for the highly unusual move.

He said urgent action was needed to protect the public from "criminals and terrorists" after the European Court of Justice struck down existing powers.

But civil liberties campaigners have warned it will invade people's privacy.

Mr Cameron defended the move in a joint news conference with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, saying it was about maintaining existing capabilities - not introducing new snooping laws.

But it will make legally clear the requirements include companies based abroad, whose phone and internet services are used in the UK. A former senior diplomat will also be appointed to work with other nations to speed up the "lawful and justified" transfer of data across borders.

Mr Cameron also said he had reached an agreement with Labour leader Ed Miliband for a wider review of the surveillance powers needed by the security services, to report after the next election.

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Key questions answered

A stock image of audio waves

What is the emergency legislation?

The legislation is primarily aimed at the companies that provide us with telephone and internet connections. It outlines their legal obligation to retain "communications data" on their customers. This metadata includes things like logs of when calls were made, what numbers were dialled, and other information that can be used, the government says, in investigations. It does not include the content of the communications.

Will it mean the government can listen in to my calls?

Not exactly. The vast majority of people will only have data collected on things such as the time a call is made and the number that was called - not the actual contents of that communication. But the emergency law does go further - the law reinforces the ability of authorities to carry out what is known as a "legal intercept". This is when a target is identified for additional monitoring - including listening in to phone calls and other communications.

Read the full guide

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Mr Cameron said: "We face real and credible threats to our security from serious and organised crime, from the activity of paedophiles, from the collapse of Syria, the growth of Isis in Iraq and al Shabab in East Africa.

"I am simply not prepared to be a prime minister who has to address the people after a terrorist incident and explain that I could have done more to prevent it."

He added: "I want to be very clear that we are not introducing new powers or capabilities - that is not for this Parliament.

"This is about restoring two vital measures ensuring that our law enforcement and intelligence agencies maintain the right tools to keep us all safe."

In return for agreeing to back the legislation, Labour and the Lib Dems highlighted new moves to "increase transparency and oversight", including:

  • The creation of a new Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to scrutinise the impact of the law on privacy and civil liberties
  • Annual government transparency reports on how these powers are used
  • The appointment of a senior former diplomat to lead discussions with the US government and internet firms to establish a new international agreement for sharing data between legal jurisdictions
  • A restriction on the number of public bodies, including Royal Mail, able to ask for communications data under the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA)
  • Termination clause ensuring these powers expire at the end of 2016
  • A wider review of the powers needed by government during the next parliament

Mr Cameron stressed that the data being retained does not include the content of messages and phone calls - just when and who the companies' customers called, texted and emailed.

But the emergency Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill would also "clarify" the law on bugging of suspects' phones by the police and security services, when the home secretary issues a warrant, after concerns service providers were turning down requests.

"Some companies are already saying they can no longer work with us unless UK law is clarified immediately," said Mr Cameron.

"Sometimes in the dangerous world in which we live we need our security services to listen to someone's phone and read their emails to identify and disrupt a terrorist plot."

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Analysis

By Nick Robinson, BBC Political Editor

Nick Robinson explains why there is a rush to bring in the new law

Critics will no doubt argue that the time for a debate about what powers will replace this law is now. To pass any new law in just a week is rare. So too is it to have the backing of all three main parties even before it is published. Read more from Nick

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The government says it was forced to act after the European Court struck down an EU directive in April requiring phone and internet companies to retain communications data on the grounds that it infringed human rights.

Emergency legislation was needed, the government argues, because service providers were being threatened with legal action by campaigners if they did not start destroying data, some of which could prove vital to criminal investigations and court cases.

But Conservative MP and former shadow home secretary David Davis, a longstanding campaigner on civil liberties, accused the government of staging a "theatrical emergency," adding that ministers had "plenty of time" to come up with a response to April's court ruling rather than rushing it through Parliament without proper scrutiny.

"This is complicated law, it needs to be got right," he told BBC Radio 4's The World at One.

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Analysis

By Gordon Corera, BBC security correspondent

GCHQ listening post at Bude

There is no doubt that gathering communications data can be a powerful tool. Officials say it has played a role in almost all serious criminal cases and counter-terrorist investigations in recent years.

But the political context around its use has changed - partly but not entirely due to the Edward Snowden revelations. It has led commercial communications companies to become nervous about being seen to help government too readily and to them demanding more clarity over the law.

Overall, the new environment has led to more questions being raised about whether there is sufficient transparency, accountability and oversight.

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Shami Chakrabarti, director of campaign group Liberty, said: "We are told this is a paedophile and jihadi 'emergency', but the court judgment they seek to ignore was handed down over three months ago and this isn't snooping on suspects but on everyone."

David Cameron believes existing surveillance powers do not go far enough and he repeated his promise to push ahead with plans for a giant database of all websites visited by UK citizens, dubbed a "snooper's charter" by critics, if he wins the next election.

Nick Clegg blocked attempts by this government to pass the "snooper's charter" - but he said he had been convinced of the need for the more limited powers contained in the emergency Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill.

The legislation contains what Mr Clegg described as a "poisoned pill" which will mean the powers cease at the end of 2016, in an effort to ensure the next parliament takes a more considered look at the issue.

Shami Chakrabarti Shami Chakrabarti says the emergency legislation is about "snooping on everyone"

The Lib Dem leader said successive governments had "neglected civil liberties as they claim to pursue greater security", but added: "I wouldn't be standing here today if I didn't believe there is an urgent challenge facing us.

"No government embarks on emergency legislation lightly but I have been persuaded of the need to act and act fast."

The bill will be pushed through Parliament in seven days - a process that normally takes several months.

MPs will be given a chance to debate it in an extended Commons sitting on Tuesday, but Labour's Tom Watson said they would not get time to properly consider the plans and he branded it a "stitch-up".

But Mr Watson was one of the few MPs to voice doubts about the legislation in the Commons earlier, where Home Secretary Theresa May accused the Labour MP of finding a "conspiracy at all costs".

Labour leader Ed Miliband and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper confirmed that Labour would support the emergency legislation, telling the party's MPs in a letter: "Serious criminal investigations and counter terrorism intelligence operations must not be jeopardised.

'Lateness of legislation'

"That is why we are supporting this emergency legislation which we accept is designed solely to protect existing capabilities."

But Ms Cooper said: "There will be serious concern in Parliament and across the country at the lateness of this legislative proposal and the short time to consider something so important."

Mobile phone and computer

The Open Rights Group, which has been pushing service providers to start destroying data following the European Court ruling, criticised the government for using the threat of terrorism to push through an "emergency law" that it says has no legal basis.

Executive Director Jim Killock said: "Not only will the proposed legislation infringe our right to privacy, it will also set a dangerous precedent where the government simply re-legislates every time it disagrees with a decision by the CJEU.

"The ruling still stands and these new plans may actually increase the amount of our personal data that is retained by ISPs, further infringing on our right to privacy.

"Blanket surveillance needs to end. That is what the court has said."

Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has accused the UK government of a "lack of prior consultation", adding that the legislation could affect Scots law and matters devolved to the Scottish government.

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 2392.

    No consultation with Scottish Government!

    uk government could not give a fig for what Scots think - all the uk governments wants is our resources and obedience.

    Vote YES get rid of this tory / labour alliance!

    C McK

  • rate this
    +13

    Comment number 2391.

    2328.
    stevecrowther
    13 Minutes ago

    If you have nowt to hide there is not a problem i have no problem with this as i have nowt to hide the only people that complain about this must have

    -------------

    Excellent, give me your bank details and let me take a look at your health records. Thanks.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 2390.

    @2327.veryoldhoop
    What's Clegg doing there?
    ...........
    He doing what all these puppet leaders are doing, standing behind a rostrum bearing a seal, like Obama and others.

    It is the new style of totalitarian government.

    The seal here is the crown, which is the City of London.

    Their emergency is the third world war just started in Israel.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 2389.

    I like fishing and it would appear the government like it too. Seems to me the issue is how many potential terrorists v how many legitimate internet users. If the intelligence services rely on trawling all our communications it shows how poor they are at identifying real threats. Make them deliver and let the population at large live without Big Brother.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 2388.

    Statistically you are more 7 times more likely to be killed by a policeman than a terrorist. You are more likely to die by a bee sting than terrorism but lets just lets just give the government access to everything. Guilty until proven innocent right!
    Benjamin Franklin once said 'those who trade liberty for security will get and deserve neither'

 

Comments 5 of 2392

 

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Conservative conference

  1.  
    15:40: Miliband on PM's speech

    Labour leader Ed Miliband, campaigning in Clacton ahead of next week's by-election, tells the BBC: "What we heard from David Cameron and Conservatives this week is a clear decision to hit the incomes of working people by freezing their tax credits, hitting them by hundreds of pounds a year, and then vague, pie-in-the sky commitments... No one is going to be fooled by David Cameron giving with one hand and taking away far more with the other. And that is the reality of the prime minster's speech today, and the Conservative conference this week."

     
  2.  
    15:37: Tax cut timings Norman Smith BBC Assistant Political Editor

    Conservative sources say they could begin their planned tax cuts ahead of 2018 if they make faster progress on deficit reduction than expected. They hold out the possibility that they could therefore begin incremental steps towards towards raising both the lower and higher tax thresholds before 2018. They will decide on a Budget-by-Budget basis.

     
  3.  
    15:21: 'Yorkshireman' still trending on Twitter

    @paceless tweets: There are many Yorkshire ppl working at food banks who deserve the award more than any politician alive today. #yorkshireman. @SilverBackGriff tweets: PM calls Hague the 'greatest living Yorkshireman'. If that doesn't prove how totally out of touch he is, nothing will.

     
  4.  
    15:18: Jessica Elgot, The Huffington Post UK

    writes: Is William Hague The Greatest Living Yorkshireman? Here's 10 Other Options. More than the tax cuts, or the spending slashes, it was David Cameron's assertion that the former foreign secretary is God's Own Country's greatest export that got social media a-buzz. Read more

     
  5.  
    @BBCLouise 15:11: Louise Stewart, BBC

    tweets: And so the party conference circus moves on. Dismantling well underway. Next stop Glasgow for Lib Dems. See photo

     
  6.  
    15:10: Paper reaction The Daily Telegraph

    "David Cameron pledges tax cuts for millions," headlines the Daily Telegraph. The paper notes that the move "delighted" Tory activists. It argues that Mr Cameron sought to answer Ed Miliband's charge that Britain's lowest earners were still suffering a "cost of living crisis" by taking millions of low earners out of tax completely. The paper's Whitehall editor, Holly Watts, notes that Mr Cameron's vow to take on Brussels by scrapping the Human Rights Act and seeking to cut immigration from Europe also went down well with the party faithful.

     
  7.  
    15:08: More paper reaction The Guardian

    The Guardian describes David Cameron's announcements on raising the personal income tax allowance and the 40p tax rate threshold as an "audacious bid to woo middle and lower income earners in next year's general election". Chief political correspondent Nicholas Watt says the speech was designed by Tory strategists to lay the basis of a centre-ground Tory pitch to the nation - and to respond to threats from Labour and UKIP. He also picks up on the Tory leader's pledge to replace the Human Rights Act with a British Bill of Rights, that would transform Britain's relationship with the European Court of Human Rights.

     
  8.  
    15:06: Paper reaction The Daily Mail

    Unsurprisingly the majority of papers are leading on David Cameron's pledges to cut taxes if his party wins the election. David Cameron today put two major tax cuts at the heart of his bid for re-election, as he sought to see off the dual threats posed by Labour and UKIP with a patriotic plea for a Conservative majority government, writes the Daily Mail. Mailonline's political editor, Matt Chorley, says Mr Cameron unveiled a "bold slate" of policies for the Conservatives' election manifesto and moved his wife Samantha to "tears" with a "passionate defence" of the NHS.

     
  9.  
    @michaelsavage 15:06: Michael Savage, Times Chief Political Correspondent

    tweets: Paul Johnson from the #IFS: It will be "very difficult" to see how the Tories' £7bn tax giveaway could be paid for.

     
  10.  
    @JeremyCliffe 14:56: Jeremy Cliffe, The Economist's UK politics correspondent

    tweets: Of course Cameron's announcements are profligate. But public trust him with finances. He gets to pledge things Labour currently could not.

     
  11.  
    14:55: Sticking to the script
    David Cameron Here's photographic proof David Cameron used a script, as promised, for his big speech
     
  12.  
    14:49: Polling

    A new ComRes / ITV News poll suggests a majority - 57% - of the British public are dismissive of the Conservatives' record on the NHS and immigration. More than half polled (57%) thought the Conservatives' management of the NHS has been bad for Britain, while two thirds were unhappy with the party's handling of immigration. A majority also thought changes to university tuition fees and increasing spending on overseas aid have been to the detriment of the country - 55% and 56%, respectively. The only Tory policy seen by more of the British public as "good for Britain" than "bad for Britain" is the introduction of gay marriage, according to the poll. ComRes interviewed 2,024 British adults online between 26 and 28 September.

     
  13.  
    @robindbrant 14:47: Robin Brant, Political Correspondent BBC News

    tweets: think the story later will be of a much bigger donation to @ukip but not another defection. happy to be proved wrong though on the latter.

     
  14.  
    Text: 61124 14:43: Get involved

    Rob, Lichfield: In response to Patrick Wintour's tweet at 14.32 - the Human Rights Act (HRA) is a very short document that brings the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into our law. Scrapping HRA would by definition scrap ECHR. What will be interesting is what the new Bill of Rights would put in its place.

     
  15.  
    Text: 61124 14:40: Get involved

    Rebecca, Nottinghamshire: Cameron is certainly starting to sway my vote to being Tory for the first time.

     
  16.  
    Text: 61124 14:40: Get involved

    BBC News website reader: I'm positive about the changes to tax - especially the 40% band. At last, the law-abiding hard-working middle are being recognised! Now let's please review stamp duty.

     
  17.  
    Text: 61124 14:39: Get involved

    BBC News website reader: Being offered future tax cuts on the condition of economic recovery by a party that missed their own growth and deficit targets is hardly encouraging. Specific on the offers, vague on the means to achieve these offers.

     
  18.  
    Text: 61124 14:38: Get involved

    Lee Sanders, Chichester: Mr Cameron, can't buy my vote back with a pledge to increase the 40% tax bracket to 50k after what you did to middle earners and families on the child benefit.

     
  19.  
    @PCollinsTimes 14:36: Philip Collins, Writer, The Times

    tweets: As a piece of political writing, that was the best speech Cameron has done. Clear, well written and cleverly constructed.

     
  20.  
    Text: 61124 14:36: Get involved

    Anna, Northumberland: Good, inspiring, motivating speech. He's got my vote and my help in canvassing for the first time.

     
  21.  
    @tnewtondunn 14:35: Tom Newton Dunn, The Sun political editor

    Tweets: Ed Balls attacks Cameron's #cpc14 tax cuts as "pie in the sky promises" for not being costed - but interestingly doesn't rule out matching.

     
  22.  
    @patrickwintour 14:32: Patrick Wintour, Political Editor of the Guardian

    tweets: Cameron says will scrap Human Rights Act and replace with British Bill of Rights. Does not say will quit European Convention on Human Rights.

     
  23.  
    @rafaelbehr 14:30: Rafael Behr, Guardian columnist

    tweets: As with Osbo's big raid on working poor, I wonder if Tories getting just a bit cocky with this dubiously funded (upper) mid class tax cut.

     
  24.  
    @NigelpMorris 14:30: Nigel Morris, Deputy Political Editor of the Independent

    tweets: Missing from Cameron speech - any reference to (1) Boris Johnson (2) Nick Clegg and the @LibDems #CPC14

     
  25.  
    @joeyjonessky 14:29: Joey Jones, Deputy Political Editor, Sky News

    tweets: Cameron's best speech to conference since entering Downing St. Tone varied wildly, but good bits v good indeed.

     
  26.  
    @JBeattieMirror 14:29: Jason Beattie, Daily Mirror political editor

    tweets: Things Cameron didn't mention, though he had a script: bedroom tax, food banks and A&E closures. Don't expect hounding from media on this.

     
  27.  
    14:28: Olympic audience

    There was a second Olympic champion in the Conservatives' midst this conference. James Cracknell - double Olympic rowing gold medallist - was in the audience for David Cameron's speech. Mr Cracknell is hoping to stand as a Conservative candidate at the general election. Yesterday, Olympic cycling champion Rebecca Pendleton made a speech to party activists on the importance of school sport.

    Double Olympic medallist James Cracknell
     
  28.  
    14:26: Union reaction

    Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, says the speech marks an "RIP to compassionate conservatism". "No amount of dressing up can hide the fact that the policies in this speech pass by those who need the most help to reward richer voters" she says.

     
  29.  
    @OwenJones84 14:20: Owen Jones, Guardian columnist

    tweets: David Cameron accidentally says he "resents" the poor. But it'd explain his cuts to benefits for workers, disabled and unemployed people.

     
  30.  
    @krishgm 14:19: Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Anchor Channel 4 News and Unreported World

    tweets: @OllyGrender well it does seem increasingly plausible that the only person who won't change jobs in the next five years is Nick Clegg.

     
  31.  
    Text: 61124 14:12: Get involved

    Remy Osman, Buckinghamshire: Just starting my career and Cameron's speech has convinced me a Tory government will support me to keep more of my salary and buy a house.

     
  32.  
    14:09: Holly Watt, Whitehall Editor for the Telegraph

    writes: Michael Fallon confirms UK defence budget safe for now. The defence secretary says that Britain will continue to spend 2% of GDP on defence and attacks Labour's "terrible legacy". Read more

     
  33.  
    Text: 61124 14:03: Get involved

    Martin Carter, Winchester: David Cameron certainly more prime ministerial than Ed Miliband's debacle last week. I'll have no qualms voting Tory next year.

     
  34.  
    14:03: More reaction

    Some more reaction to the tax cuts set out by David Cameron in his final party conference speech before the election. Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, says: "This was a positive speech for taxpayers, with tax cuts for the lowest paid and long-overdue relief for ordinary people being clobbered by the higher rate of tax. Leaving more of people's money in their own pockets is not just morally right, but the best way to promote economic growth and long-term prosperity." Mr Isaby argues that the next step should be to bring National Insurance thresholds in line with income tax to take the lowest paid out of tax altogether.

     
  35.  
    Text: 61124 14:02: Get involved

    BBC News website reader: Shot a lot of Labour and UKIP foxes in that speech. I listened on the radio and could hear the genuine passion in his voice. I felt that I was hearing the real man behind the smooth persona, and it was refreshing.

     
  36.  
    @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

     
  37.  
    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.

     
  38.  
    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.

     
  39.  
    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.

     
  40.  
    13:51: Lib Dem reaction

    Liberal Democrat Treasury Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander accuses the Conservatives of a "shameless attempt" to copy his party's policy on the personal tax allowance. He claims the Conservatives' plan for government is based solely on spending cuts that will most affect the working-age poor. The Lib Dems, however, would fund tax cuts "fairly" and ask those with the "broadest shoulders" to pay more, he says.

     
  41.  
    @BBCNormanS 13:48: Norman Smith, BBC

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

     
  42.  
    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.

     
  43.  
    @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.

     
  44.  
    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".

     
  45.  
    @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

     
  46.  
    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".

     
  47.  
    @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."

     
  48.  
    @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".

     
  49.  
    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.

     
  50.  
    13:23: Appreciation
    Conservative activists
     
  51.  
    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.

     
  52.  
    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.

     
  53.  
    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.

     
  54.  
    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.

     
  55.  
    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?

     
  56.  
    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
     
  57.  
    13:09: A sense of relief?
    The Camerons
     
  58.  
    @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?

     
  59.  
    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?"

     
  60.  
    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.

     
  61.  
    Email: haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk 12:58: Get involved

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

     
  62.  
    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?

     
  63.  
    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.

     
  64.  
    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?

     
  65.  
    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.

     
  66.  
    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?"

     
  67.  
    12:47: Big exit
    David and Samantha Cameron
     
  68.  
    Text: 61124 12:45: Get involved

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

     
  69.  
    @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...

     
  70.  
    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.

     
  71.  
    12:44: It's over
    David Cameron and Samantha Cameron
     
  72.  
    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.

     
  73.  
    12:42: 'Better future'

    In an emotional plea to voters, David Cameron says he does not claim to be a "perfect leader". I'm your public servant standing here wanting to make our country so much better for your children and mine, he says. Mr Cameron expresses his love for the country and insists he has the track record and the right team to secure a better future for the country.

     
  74.  
    12:39: Cameron jokes about Farage and Miliband
    David Cameron addressing the conference
     
  75.  
    12:39: 'Proud again'

    We are making Britain proud again, David Cameron says of the Conservatives. He say exports to China are doubling, with manufacturing booming, record levels of employment and the country taking a lead on climate change. All the hard work is finally paying off and the light is coming up after some long, dark days, the prime minister adds.

     
  76.  
    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.

     
  77.  
    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
     
  78.  
    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.

     
  79.  
    12:34: Migration statistics

    Here are the official statistics on international migration since 1995.

    Long-term international migration
     
  80.  
    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.

     
  81.  
    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

     
  82.  
    @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.

     
  83.  
    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
     
  84.  
    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
     
  85.  
    @JamesManning4 12:29: James Manning, Head of Social at @TheSunNewspaper

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

     
  86.  
    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.

     
  87.  
    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.

     
  88.  
    12:26: Pensions

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

     
  89.  
    @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.

     
  90.  
    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.

     
  91.  
    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.

     
  92.  
    @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.

     
  93.  
    Tweet: @BBCPolitics 12:22: Get involved

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

     
  94.  
    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.

     
  95.  
    12:21: Samantha Cameron hears her husband talk about their daughter
    Samantha Cameron watching her husband
     
  96.  
    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.

     
  97.  
    @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!'

     
  98.  
    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.

     
  99.  
    @rosschawkins 12:16: Ross Hawkins, BBC

    tweets: Cameron takes aim at Nick Clegg's fox

     
  100.  
    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.

     

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