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Labour conference 2009

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 17 October 2009

All the news and views from the Channel 4 News team at the last gathering of the Labour party faithful before the next general election.

Gordon Brown (credit:Reuters)

Foreign secretary David Miliband and Deputy Leader Hariet Harman take to the stage on the last day of the Labour conference.

Full interview: Gordon Brown
The prime minister tells Jon Snow that he and the Labour party are committed to an alternative vote system of electoral reform.
Click here to read more and watch the interview.

Channel 4 News endorsement:
Former Labour whip Siobhain McDonagh MP highlights attention to Channel 4 News' coverage of events in Sri Lanka in her speech to conference.
Click here to watch her comments.

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Public services top the agenda, with Health Secretary Andy Burnham and Schools Secretary Ed Balls speaking.

But coverage of Gordon Brown's speech has been tarnished by the Sun newspaper announcing it is to drop it's support for Labour with the headline "Labour's lost it".

Mr Brown said: "It's the British people that decide the election, it's the British people's views that I am interested in."

The Sun's decision prompted allegations that Peter Mandelson used the "c" word in conversation with News International chief executive and former Sun editor Rebekah Wade.

From Gary Gibbon's blog:
"The Sun's declaration of support for David Cameron is a carefully timed missile aimed at knocking out any possible positive impact that the PM's speech might have had - in short, doing its best to ensure that this Murdoch paper is where it always wants to be, on the winning side."
Click here to read more.

"The IFS has helped me out with a bit of rough, heavily caveated number-crunching based on what Gordon Brown said yesterday about cuts.

"It gives you an idea of the pain that is squeezed elsewhere even when you so much as freeze one part of spending."
Click here to read more.

From Jon Snow's blog:
"The Sun's associate editor, Trevor Kavanagh has confirmed that Rupert Murdoch was central to the Sun's decision to switch horses in British politics.

"Should we care?"
Click here to read more.

Will it be the Sun wot lost it?
What has the Sun's influence on general elections been and can it have the same impact again?
Channel 4 News online finds out.

FactCheck: £30bn Tory cuts?
Gordon Brown claimed today that the Conservatives had said they would cut spending by £30bn next year.
FactCheck finds out if he's right.

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Gordon Brown delivers his keynote speech to the Labour conference.
Review all the action with our live blog.
Click here to watch Gary Gibbon's report.

Before him, Home Secretary Alan Johnson and Justice Secretary Jack Straw speak during the crime and justice debate.

Snowcloud: Gordon Brown's speech at a glance

Mandelson: "I am not the PM's yes man"
"One thing [Brown] said in his speech which is absolutely true is that he's not a man who easily takes no for an answer, as I have now discovered yet again from my own experience.

"But I like in a prime minister, I like a guy who doesn't take no for an answer, I like a guy who's determined to do things and to make change and not settle for second best."

"I'm not his yes man, but I do have to say occasionally, do we have to do this all at once without prioritising?"
Click here to watch Jon Snow's full interview with Peter Mandelson.

From Gary Gibbon's blog:
"You know things aren't tickety boo when a leader's speech opens and closes with a plea not to give up. Think big and fight hard, Gordon Brown said.

"The fight will follow, did he think big?"
Click here to read more.

"What of Gordon Brown's commitment to a referendum in the first year of a new Labour government? Just for the record: if AV (alternative voting) had been used in the 2005 general election it would have given Labour an even bigger majority - 86 seats rather than 64 on Electoral Reform Society projections."
Click here to read more.

"Gordon Brown is trying to show us the chasm between Labour and the Conservatives by showing a bit of ankle on the Pre-Budget Report."
Click here to read more.

"Brown will speak to a party gasping for inspiration."
Click here to read more.

FactCheck: Brown's conference speech
Did Brown get his facts straight? FactCheck finds out.

Has the PM got through to voters?

Jon Snow escaped along the seafront to Brighton's neighbour Hove, where Labour have the seat, but with a majority of just a few hundred. He spoke to voters who have been fluctuating between the main parties.
Click here to see what they said.

Spending cuts: is Labour in denial?

There was little or nothing about targets for cuts in public spending in Gordon Brown's conference speech.
More4 News asks why.

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Chancellor Alistair Darling and Business Secretary Lord Mandelson address the conference. Darling is told bankers they must slash bonuses.

The one-time pariah Lord Mandelson won a standing ovation in Brighton, describing Labour as the "underdogs" and saying: "If I can come back, we can come back."

From Jon Snow's blog:
"There is, it seems, nothing like rising from the dead twice for liberating the political soul. Mandelson is liberated, free and orating in a manner we have not seen from him before."
Click here to read more.

"This Labour Party Conference is very far from 'normal'. For a start its flat, flat as yer hat.

"Secondly all those luvvies, or most of them, have evaporated back whence they came. We are down to the formidable rump of Trades Unionists (mainly well past fifty-year-olds) some MPs (those who don't feel totally broken by the expenses scandal), some ministers and a bemused collection of hacks."
Click here to read more.

Snowcloud: Darling's speech
Find out the key words used by the chancellor in his speech with our interactive video word cloud.

From Faisal Islam's blog:
"Populism does not come more de-robed than what we will get on bankers from Labour's pre-election conference.

"It starts today with the Chancellors speech. There will be an elaboration of the bank bashing theme."
Click here to read more.

FactCheck: Darling's Tax Havens
Chancellor Alistair Darling promised delegates at the Labour party conference that the government is cracking down on offshore tax havens, but do his numbers add up? FactCheck found out.

From Gary Gibbon's blog:
"Not many Cabinet ministers get wolf whistled as they go to the podium. But Peter Mandelson is no ordinary Cabinet minister."
Click here to read more.

"You can see how high the stakes are and why Gordon Brown and the Chancellor are upping the rhetoric. But Alistair Darling remains opposed to 'naming and shaming' individual bankers and opposed to capping."
Click here to read more.

Brown's battles:
In spite of Peter Mandelson's barnstorming speech this afternoon, one left wing MP has described Gordon Brown as a "dead man walking".
Click here to watch Cathy Newman's report.

Listen! From Krishnan Guru-Murthy:
Building up to the Channel 4 News Twinge events, where viewers can send their questions via twitter to the prestigious panel about the mix between politics and social networking sites.

Tweet or Dare: Three MPs take our quickfire question challenge. Watch their answers here.

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Gordon Brown tries to launch the "fightback" with some combative rhetoric. Click here to watch Gary Gibbon's report.

Brown again is forced to defend his leadership as Chancellor Alistair Darling says Labour looks like it has lost "the will to live". The prime minister also defends himself against suggestions that he was regularly taking painkillers in an interview on BBC One's Andrew Marr show.


Cathy Newman's round-up of the day:
Cathy Newman talks to Krishnan Guru-Murthy about the awkward questions Andrew Marr asked Gordon Brown about whether he is taking pain killers, and the lack of delegates around the conference.

From Gary Gibbon's blog:
"At the Labour conference...but where is everybody?

"We're getting quite close to Gordon Brown's appearance and they really could do with a few more people here."
Click here to read more.

"Labour will be hoping it distracts attention from an unexpected question thrown at the PM by Andrew Marr this morning. He asked Gordon Brown if he took pain-killers. I'm told he mis-spoke and was asking about the blogosphere rumours that surfaced in hard copy in The Independent claiming that Gordon Brown took anti-depressants.

"This was categorically denied by No. 10 after a long-serving aide went in to check the story out with the PM himself."
Click here to read more.


From Krishnan Guru-Murthy:
Listen to Krishnan Guru-Murthy's round-up of the afternoon, including those questions about Gordon Brown's health and chairing a meeting where former work and pensions secretary James Purnell backed Gordon Brown but said his leadership would make a Tory victory at the next election more likely.

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It is Gordon Brown's last Labour conference before the general election - an opportunity to stamp his authority on his party and the country. Click here to watch Gary Gibbon's report.

From Gary Gibbon's blog:
"The battle is on to define Labour's last conference before the general election. The Tories say it' the dying gasp of a party that's on its last legs."
Read more: Labour's fightback or 'fag-end' conference? Listen!

From Krishnan Guru-Murthy: Krishnan Guru-Murthy tells of the Channel 4 News team's plans for Labour party conference in Brighton.

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