The BBC's correspondents have been digesting David Cameron's speech, working out what it means for people's lives and politics. Economics editor Robert Peston asks if the PM is going further than Margaret Thatcher in rolling back the state. Political correspondent Ben Wright looks at the messages Mr Cameron is trying to get across before next May's election. And health correspondent Nick Triggle wonders what pledges by Labour and the Conservatives over the NHS will mean in practice.
- David Cameron pledged to raise the income tax threshold to £12,500 and raise the earnings point at which people pay the higher rate to £50,000
- He promised to protect the NHS in England from spending cuts until 2020 and end exclusive zero-hours contracts
- The speech came after former Conservative donor Arron Banks defected to UKIP
- Other speakers included Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and International Development Secretary Justine Greening
Our live text reporting on the Conservative Party conference finishes here. But that's not the end of the BBC's coverage by a long chalk. You can catch David Cameron's speech here in full. And Andrew Neil presents his round-up of events on BBC Two at 23:20 BST - you can catch it afterwards on the iPlayer and the Live Coverage tab above. And, of course, there'll be plenty of discussion on BBC 5 live, BBC Radio 4's PM and The World Tonight, as well as BBC Two's Newsnight. See you for the Liberal Democrat conference and thanks for joining us.
tweets: Cameron says @WilliamJHague is greatest living Yorkshireman. I have to disagree, what about Parky, Paul Sykes, Alan Bennett and me!?
writes that "David Cameron has done a good day's work": "It was striking that many of his promises were intended to reach those who are not traditional Tory voters. Spelling out that under his plans most minimum wage earners would pay no income tax, his stirring passage on the NHS and the aim of abolishing youth unemployment will all help answer the charge that the Conservatives are exclusively on the side of the best off." Read more
It's been a busy week of speeches and policy announcements at Conservative Party conference. To name a few, there have been pledges on apprenticeships, house building, pre-paid benefits cards, a welfare benefits freeze, NHS investment, English votes for English laws, stronger counter-terrorism laws, and tax cuts. If you want to take a look back at how each day unfolded - just click on the links below:
Sunday: BBC Parliament's recorded coverage of the day's proceedings, with speeches from party chairman Grant Shapps, and William Hague
Monday: featuring Chancellor George Osborne setting out the Conservatives' economic plans, and speeches from Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith
Tuesday: including keynote speeches from Home Secretary Theresa May on terrorism and extremism, and brick-brandishing Boris Johnson, the London mayor.
In case you missed David Cameron's speech earlier today, you can catch it here in full. Other highlights from today can also be found on the Key Video tab above. Andrew Neil will bring us his round-up of events on BBC Two at 23:20 BST - but if you don't fancy staying up that late you can catch it on the Live Coverage tab above.
The Conservatives' get-together doesn't spell the end of the conference season. Because of the Scottish referendum, the Liberal Democrat conference was put back by three weeks. It starts this weekend in Glasgow. Needless to say, we'll be covering it here on the BBC, on the website, radio and TV. Plaid Cymru's conference takes place later this month and the SNP's in November.
David Cameron got an enthusiastic response, with union jacks waved, as he took to the stage against a backdrop listing what the Conservatives argues are this government's success stories.Copyright: Reuters
Mr Cameron's opening remarks included a warm tribute to - and a brave attempt to mimic - William Hague, who is standing down at the next election. Mr Hague received a standing ovation from the crowd.Copyright: Getty Images
The major announcements of the PM's speech related to tax policy: Over the period of the next parliament, the threshold for the 40% rate would rise to £50,000, up from £41,500, while the personal allowance threshold for income tax would rise to £12,500, up from £10,500, meaning those on minimum-wage working 30 hours a week would pay no income tax - "zero, nothing, zilch".Copyright: BBC
How dare Labour accuse him of not caring about the NHS, Mr Cameron said as he told of the care he had got for his son Ivan, who died in 2009 aged six. Both he and his wife Samantha looked close to tears.Copyright: BBC
But it was an upbeat occasion and the couple - to the strains of Fleetwood Mac - were all smiles for the traditional embrace for the cameras at the end of the speech.Copyright: BBC
A sense of relief? A Conservative conference that began under a cloud with an MP defecting to UKIP ended with the Tory faithful departing in good spirits, with, as Ben Wright says, an easy to understand middle class tax cut to take into the next election.Copyright: Reuters
There'll be more discussion of today's end-of-conference speech on BBC Radio 4's PM programme from 17:00 BST.
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."
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
tweets: Paul Johnson from the #IFS: It will be "very difficult" to see how the Tories' £7bn tax giveaway could be paid for.
tweets: Of course Cameron's announcements are profligate. But public trust him with finances. He gets to pledge things Labour currently could not.
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.
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.
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.
Rebecca, Nottinghamshire: Cameron is certainly starting to sway my vote to being Tory for the first time.
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.
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.
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.
tweets: As a piece of political writing, that was the best speech Cameron has done. Clear, well written and cleverly constructed.
Anna, Northumberland: Good, inspiring, motivating speech. He's got my vote and my help in canvassing for the first time.
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.
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.
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.
tweets: Missing from Cameron speech - any reference to (1) Boris Johnson (2) Nick Clegg and the @LibDems #CPC14
tweets: Cameron's best speech to conference since entering Downing St. Tone varied wildly, but good bits v good indeed.
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.
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.Copyright: BBC
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.
tweets: David Cameron accidentally says he "resents" the poor. But it'd explain his cuts to benefits for workers, disabled and unemployed people.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
tweets: 800,000 tax payers will be taken out of higher rate tax band say Tory sources #cpc14
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.
tweets: 'Unlike some, I prefer to keep private conversations private,' says Gove on #WATO. Do hope he's not dissing the PM.
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".
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".
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."
Tweets: "Best speech PM's given. Spelt out clear plan for next 5 years. Contrast with last week couldn't be starker".
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.Copyright: BBC
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tweets: Cameron's speech = classic Tory Coke - sound money, tax cuts, a fight with Europe. The question - has Britain got the taste for it?
UKIP leader Nigel Farage says: "None of David Cameron's promises are achievable without fundamental treaty change. Is that what he is now suggesting?"
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.
Chris, Notts: Cameron looks very strong today, he made Miliband look like a fool.
BBC News website reader: I like the idea of that tax cut, but how on earth is it going to be paid for?
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.
BBC News website reader: Liked Cameron's speech! Sounded good. Still need to know how it gets funded, economic growth?
Ben from Gloucestershire: How about some balance? I, like millions of others, see through Cameron's predictable party conference rhetoric. Not remarkable, predictable.
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?"
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Chris, in Lancashire: Whatever your political views, you have to say that speech was brilliant.
tweets: On style, Cam gave Mili a lecture on how a podium and autocue can trump walking and forgetting. On substance, however...
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.Copyright: Nuffield Trust
David Cameron pledges a new British Bill of Rights under a future Conservative government, and the abolition of Labour's Human Rights Act.
Here are the official statistics on international migration since 1995.Copyright: Office for National Statistics
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.
BBC News website reader: Wow a tax cut for middle income earners. I must be dreaming. Now that would make a huge difference
tweets: Got me. Well deserved standing ovation for Cameron saying, How dare Labour frighten people about his intentions on the NHS.
Here are the official figures on unemployment and claimants of Jobseeker's Allowance since 1992.Copyright: Alison Trowsdale
David Cameron has promised to cut the deficit and achieve a government surplus. Here is the official projection for the next five years.Copyright: ONS/OBR
tweets: Huge emotion from Cameron on the NHS there. Remarkable moment.
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.
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.
David Cameron hails the government's pensions reforms, which meets with applause from party activists.
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.
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.
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.
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.
@Brynleydm tweets: @BBCLouise @BBCPolitics Cameron speech full of what no mention of how
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.
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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.
tweets: Cameron conference audience feeling 'At last, a proper tax cut for those on middle incomes!'
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.
tweets: Cameron takes aim at Nick Clegg's fox
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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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.
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.
A future Conservative government will raise the tax free personal allowance from £10,500 to £12,500, David Cameron pledges.
We need tax cuts for hard working people, David Cameron tells activists.
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.
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.
David Cameron pledges that a future Conservative government will have the lowest corporate taxes in the G20.
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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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
tweets: Having met Michael Gove's puppy he's right. You would trust it more than Ed Miliband to do down Putin
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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.
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."
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.
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tweets: "The run up to that referendum was the most nerve-racking of my life" says Cameron. Good honest admission #cpc14
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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".
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.
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.
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".
The audience is being treated to a short film before the leader's speech. David Cameron's wife, Samantha, has just taken her seat.
tweets: Gove says he would trust his Bichon Frisée puppy dog Snowy over Ed Miliband to face down Putin
tweets: Theresa May leadership stakes go up another notch as Michael Gove refers to her as "The Iron Lady" #cpc14
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".
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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.
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.
tweets: Didn't even try to get into the hall for the PM's speech- watching instead in the #LondonLounge, my conference home from home. #CPC14
Michael Gove is listing the government's achievement, including on the economy, housing and pensions.
Live on BBC Two
BBC political editor Nick Robinson describes the Conservative guarantee to ring-fence NHS spending as a "statement of the blindingly politically obvious", and says he suspects the rumoured big policy announcement by David Cameron will be related to tax: either raising the personal allowance on income tax up to a level ensuring no-one on the minimum wage pays income tax, or reforming National Insurance in a similar fashion.
David Cameron's warm-up act is Michael Gove - former education secretary, now Conservative chief whip. He's a huge hit with activists - who stand, whoop and wave their papers as he enters the hall.
The hall is full and the press pack is huddled along the front of the stage. The Electric Light Orchestra's Mr Blue Sky plays through the speakers.
A standing ovation for Philip Hammond, as the hall readies itself for David Cameron. First up, though, is Conservative Chief Whip Michael Gove.Copyright: BBC
Britain cannot afford five more minutes, let alone five years, of Labour, Philip Hammond asserts. He tells conference only the Conservatives can deliver growth, jobs and an in/out referendum on the EU, as he brings his speech to a close.Copyright: BBC
The foreign secretary says his priority between now and the general election in May is to lay the groundwork for EU reform negotiations, so that the Conservatives will "already be in pole position" if they win power.
Philip Hammond quotes Margaret Thatcher now - which goes down well in the hall. He says slowly but surely other EU states are "coming round" to the need for change. Mr Hammond attacks Labour for "surrendering" sovereignty and taxpayers' money to EU - and counters that the Conservatives have started to "reverse that trend" - noting David Cameron's success in securing an EU budget cut. "All that in coalition with the most Brussels-loving bunch of Europhiles you could ever wish to meet," Mr Hammond says, and adds: "Just think what a proper Conservative government could do."
Live on BBC Two
Treasury minister Priti Patel MP tells Andrew Neil she "will not speculate on other departments' budgets and cuts" at this stage, in a discussion about ring-fencing the NHS budget under a future Conservative government.
Philip Hammond says foreign policy must support the government's long-term economic plan. He tells conference that worldwide exports are up 28% since 2009. Turning to the EU, the foreign secretary says he has been "aghast" as the common market has "morphed into an institution with the aspirations of a superstate" and "hoovers up" powers that belong to member states. It's not what the British people signed up to, he says.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says the UK has extended its hand to Russia over recent decades but President Putin has "torn up the rule book and chosen the path to confrontation" through his "illegal behaviour" in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
Philip Hammond rejects suggestions that a deal should be done with Syrian President Assad to defeat IS: "Assad is the problem and he cannot be part of the solution," he says, to applause.
Philip Hammond talks about the "twisted ideology" of Islamic State and says the organisation is the "antithesis of everything we stand for". Britain must defeat it, he tells conference. As a defence leader in the world, it is right that Britain is taking part in international military action against IS militants in Iraq, Mr Hammond adds, and says it should be "proud".
tweets: We are on BBC2 now with two hour special from Tory party conference. Including Cameron speech #bbcdp
Philip Hammond says William Hague is a very hard act to follow as foreign secretary - but quips that he has one thing that Mr Hague doesn't, and brushes a hand through his hair.
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Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond now has the stage - and begins by paying tribute to his ministerial team, and his predecessor William Hague - "who will surely go down as one of the truly great British foreign secretaries". Activists show their appreciation.
Michael Fallon concludes by assuring conference that "this party, this government" will ensure the armed forces have all they need to help keep Britain safe.Copyright: BBC
Labour left a terrible defence legacy, Michael Fallon tells conference, including a "£38bn black hole" in the budget - but this has been fixed by the Conservatives in government, he adds. He also launches an attack on the Lib Dems - noting that there are none in the defence ministry. He says the party is only interested in "downgrading" Trident, which is "in a dangerous world is truly dangerous thinking".
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The defence secretary says it is because the Conservatives have "sorted out" the budget that the government is able to spend £164bn on defence over the next decade. He reiterates this morning's announcement of a £3,5bn investment in UK naval bases, securing 7,500 jobs.
Michael Fallon says the UK now faces "new threats to our security" - as he talks about the "chilling barbarity" of Islamic State militants, which if left unchecked would result in "a terrorist state on Europe's doorstep".
Michael Fallon pays tribute to the 453 British servicemen and women who died during combat operations in Afghanistan, and all those who were injured. A round of applause ensues.
Over to Defence Secretary Michael Fallon now. He says the UK has the biggest defence budget in Europe and the second largest in Nato. He pays tribute to his predecessor Philip Hammond - now foreign secretary - who he says put the defence budget on a stable footing.
Tom Moseley, political reporter
What would David Cameron have made of Ed Sheeran's dedication of a number to him at a recent gig? The singer said the only tune he had left to play was The A Team. Will it join Radiohead and REM on the PM's playlist?
The opening lyrics:
White lips, pale face
Breathing in snowflakes
Burnt lungs, sour taste
Light's gone, day's end
Struggling to pay rent
Long nights, strange men
Justine Greening welcomes the global Girl Summit - hosted in London over the summer - to end female genital mutilation and forced child marriage, and thanks all those who took part.
Britain's response to humanitarian emergencies "sets us apart" from many other countries, Justine Greening says. The international development secretary praises British aid workers and adds that "we should be proud of our country, because we don't walk on by".
tweets: David Cameron does indeed have a jumbo rabbit in his #CPC14 speech today. A big new tax move to help C2 voters especially, I hear.
Justine Greening describes Ebola as "one of the most serious threats facing the world today", with estimates that 1.4 million people will be infected by January 2015 "if we don't act". She says an international coalition is working to contain and defeat the virus - and adds that the UK is overseeing the construction of treatment centres, and will treble the number of Ebola treatment beds.Copyright: BBC
Justine Greening says international aid - including the government's commitment to spending 0.7% of national income on it - is a vital component alongside the defence and diplomacy.
International Development Secretary Justine Greening is introduced to the hall. She opens by saying she is "proud" of what the Conservatives have achieved in government. Ms Greening says her department's international development programme has been improved since 2010, with a much greater focus on jobs and economic growth.
London Conservative MEP Syed Kamall is addressing the hall now - and stresses that "only the Conservatives can and will deliver" a referendum on the UK's relationship with the European Union. He criticises the previous Labour government which "gave away" British taxpayers' money and powers to Brussels. Now is the time for the Conservatives to "roll up our sleeves" and make the case for reform, he says - and adds that this must be done by working with Britain's allies across Europe. Mr Kamall leads the European Parliament's European Conservatives and Reformists group.
Theresa May, says (£) Ann Treneman, gave "the best speech of her life" yesterday. Her "unflinchingly serious" performance was followed by "clown-man" Boris Johnson, whom the Tory audience adored.
The paper claims David Cameron will today attempt to move the discussion from being about the party's "long-term economic plan" to talking about "individual benefits offered by a recovering economy". A YouGov poll commissioned for the paper shows 41% of those questioned saying they trust the Conservatives more to clear the deficit, compared to 13% for Labour, but when asked which party is most likely to improve living standards "for people like you" 31% chose Labour against only 25% for the Conservatives.
Here's Ed Sheeran, who apparently dedicated a song, called the A Team (not the A-list), to the PM at a recent gig he attended. His music was not in evidence in the conference hall this morning before speeches got under way. Instead the Starship song Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now was blasted out of on the PA system. The year of its release - 1987 - was when Mrs Thatcher won her third term in office. Some misty eyes in Birmingham?Copyright: PA
The conference is officially under way. Steve Bell, vice-president of the National Conservative Convention, is opening proceedings.
Conservative MP and former Welsh Secretary John Redwood proposes a way to tackle the deficit on his blog: "Total borrowing in the next Parliament could be reduced substantially by selling all the remaining shares in banks. This would be a good idea for a variety of reasons and would be the single biggest way of reducing the loan mountain."
The Daily Telegraph
Peter Oborne, chief political commentator, says (video) that David Cameron must navigate three major points of controversy: projecting himself as a "war leader" after the recent Commons authorisation of action against Islamic State; scrapping the Human Rights Act; and, the "most dangerous" potential pitfall, drawing a line under the recent defections to UKIP.
Michael Deacon, in his sketch of yesterday's conference activity, describes Boris Johnson as "the politician who reduces the sketch writer's role to mere transcription", but says that despite the theatrics Boris's great strength is that he makes the party "believe they can win, and deserve to win".
David Cameron appears at 11:15 BST. In the meantime, here's our main story about his speech.
Just over 10 minutes until we get going again. The first of the big-name speakers will be International Development Secretary Justine Greening.
tweets: #Cameron=austerity forever; #Miliband=austerity-lite. If you're fed up with their policies join us. Please RT #CPC14Copyright: The Green Party
Theresa May's speech is described as "both highly accomplished and highly disturbing", saying that for a Conservative home secretary to open by issuing a "frank challenge" to the police "felt like a kind of cultural revolution". She now proposes, however, a range of powers which "in classic abuse-of-civil liberty mode, could be misused", not least the so-called "snoopers' charter" which was "rightly blocked by the Liberal Democrats two years ago".
Looking forward to David Cameron's speech today, Denis Campbell, the paper's health correspondent, notes that Labour has been outflanked by the Conservative leader on NHS spending, and says that unless Ed Miliband "outbids the Tories yet again he risks being accused of not matching his fine words about saving the NHS with the cash needed".
Adam Rees: Labour keep banging on about the Tories privatising the NHS. I've been hearing it for as long as I remember. It's still free at the point of use. There are some NHS services provided by private companies for sure but who introduced it for the very first time? Labour!
tweets: ComRes/ITV News poll helps explain Tory struggles - immigration & NHS are 2 of top 3 voter concerns but rate as worst policies
tweets: And so far all the defections to UKIP have been men. Serious diversity problem. May require quotas.
As Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon prepare to address the conference a little later, the Ministry of Defence has announced that RAF jets fired four missiles at Islamic State (IS) vehicles in Iraq overnight. The MoD says the strikes - aimed at an armed pick-up truck and a transport vehicle west of the Iraqi capital Baghdad - were "successful". Parliament approved UK military action against IS in Iraq last Friday.
The Daily Mail
Quentin Letts, at the Daily Mail, sketches yesterday's "duel of two would-be leaders". Theresa May, "fervid and Thatcherish", gave the "speech that deserves to be remembered". The home secretary attacked Islamist extremism from a "defiantly centrist position", quoting the Koran and opening with a condemnation of racial bias in the exercise of police stop-and-search powers, perhaps seeing that "there are votes in centrism", he adds. Boris Johnson, meanwhile, was "full of jokes", entertaining the Tory faithful but "the closing passages of the speech - the serious bits - sagged".
Douglas Carswell, the former Conservative MP who has defected to UKIP, has some fond words for Tory chairman Grant Shapps. Writing on his blog, Mr Carswell says: "I like him, and I've made no secret of my admiration of him in the past. If he has had to say some fairly strong things as Conservative Party chairman over the past few days, he is doing it because he is Conservative Party chairman. I know Grant is a thoroughly decent person and have always enjoyed his company. I might have changed parties, but I'm not going start pretending that everyone that wears a blue rosette is bad. Grant is one of the good guys." Mr Carswell also says he gave up going to Conservative conferences long ago, because: "There never seemed to be many Conservatives. The lobbyists outnumber the activists. The fringe debates seemed so sterile."Copyright: PA
tweets: As JeremyHunt said ystdy: unlocking potential of #NHS R+D in Genetics+DiseaseData is DNA of NHS: pooling our resources to prevent disease.
Richard Heath responds to Andy Burnham, Labour MP's tweet at 09:16: Is he honestly trying to accuse the TORIES of making promises without saying where the money is going to come from? Did he not see any of the speeches by Balls and Miliband?
Bob, Cambridge: It never ceases to amaze me when the general election is close by how the Tories send out sweeteners to get voters to stay. No chance Mr Cameron we all know what your party is about and always has been and that is to persecute the poor for the mistakes of the rich.
Henry Francis Naudi in London: Whatever the main political parties may say about the NHS and their determination to improve it, the fact of the matter is that the main reasons for a 'distressed' NHS are (1) massive wastage in bureaucracy and admin; and (2) leeching of the NHS by people who are either not entitled to it for free or who manage to get round it by not paying their dues.
writes: David Cameron: Can he draw a line under his month to forget? Ahead of his Conservative Party conference curtain call, the prime minister has endured the most painful of Septembers. Read more
A bizarre scene as David Cameron prepares his speech apparently watched by... himself.Copyright: Getty Images
tweets: All sorts of rumours about another defection at #CPC14
Colin in Gloucestershire: If we really want to keep the health service as it is people MUST take responsibility for themselves. Smoking and use of other drugs maybe your 'god given' right but it should not be the responsibility of the rest of the community to pay for the consequences. Even if Cameron can deliver on this promise, which will only come about by painful cuts elsewhere, that will only delay the day that society will no longer be willing to support people unwilling to take responsibility for themselves.
tweets: Tory sources accuse @ukip of trying to make a somebody out of a nobody over Arron Banks defection #cpc14
So, what else is happening at conference today? Business kicks off at the usual start of 10:30 BST - and will focus on international development, defence and foreign affairs. There'll be speeches from the secretaries of states for each respective government department - Justine Greening, Michael Fallon and Philip Hammond.
@thisisamy_ tweets: So ukip, 'the anti-establishment, people's party' attracts another millionaire donor. Yup, they're definitely on your side.
tweets: NHS facing huge funding pressures in 2015-20 Parliament. It is just not credible for Tories to make new promises without finding new money.
tweets: Delighted to see the £600m MoD contract for maintaining the Royal Navy go to Portsmouth - supporting 2000 local jobs #Portsmouth #jobs
In other news, the Ministry of Defence has announced it has awarded £3.2bn of contracts to support the management of the UK's naval bases, securing about 7,500 jobs. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is due to make a speech to conference later this morning, so it's likely he'll make reference to this.
During his speech on Tuesday, London Mayor Boris Johnson wielded a brick to demonstrate his determination to get more homes built. Will David Cameron do something similar?Copyright: BBC
UKIP continues to cast a shadow over Conservative conference this week. One of the Tories' long-time donors is to announce later that he is joining Nigel Farage's party. Insurance entrepreneur Arron Banks has given the Conservatives more than £250,000 since David Cameron became leader - but will today present rivals UKIP with a £100,000 check. Mr Bank has also indicated he would like to stand as a candidate. The move comes after two Conservative MPs defected to UKIP - one as recently as Saturday, on the eve of Tory conference.
David Cameron is expected to use his speech to show voters his party has more to offer them than austerity, and that with five more years the Conservatives, under his leadership, can improve people's lives.
Samantha Cameron is in Birmingham to offer her husband support as he speaks later. Before that there's the obligatory walkabout.Copyright: PA
The promise to protect NHS funding from departmental spending cuts is a repeat of the policy on which David Cameron fought the 2010 general election. Mr Cameron will say that a strong NHS is only made possible by a strong economy.
David Cameron has been working overnight on his speech. We are told he will deliver it using a script, rather than performing an attempted elephantine memory trick. This follows ridicule of Ed Miliband when he forgot a couple of passages of his address to the Labour conference last week.Copyright: PA
It is being reported that David Cameron will use his speech to pledge a yearly real-terms increase in NHS spending over the course of the next five-year Parliament, if his party secures victory at the election.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the final day of the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham. The day will culminate in the highlight of any party conference: the leader's speech. David Cameron will address party activists at 11.15 BST, in what will be his final conference speech before the general election.