28 Sep 2011

LIVE BLOG: Labour conference in Liverpool

Latest updates, pictures and video from the Labour autumn conference in Liverpool.

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman has urged the party to stop apologising for past mistakes, telling its annual conference: “It’s time to move on.”

Closing the five-day conference in Liverpool before the traditional Red Flag sing-a-long, Ms Harman said Ed Miliband and Ed Balls had admitted errors from Labour’s 13 years in power and it was time to end the mea culpa strategy.

Harman told delegates: “The two Eds both acknowledged what we all know: that not everything we did in government turned out right – and people need to know that over the past year we’ve taken a hard look at what we did and we’ve learnt lessons.

“But it’s time now to move on because we’ve got important work to do.”

Cooper caught out on crime
FactCheck catches Yvette Cooper making last minute changes to her speech to avoid telling porkies about Labour’s record on crime. Read more here

Ed Miliband denies giving in to “the politics of desperation” after shrugging off criticism about his headline Labour conference speech, saying: “let the chips fall where they may”.

Read more: Miliband tells Jon Snow ‘let the chips fall where they may’

Labour conference – add your voice

Harriet Harman, who was singled out for praise in Mr Miliband’s address, called it “really remarkable”, adding: “He actually said: ‘These things are wrong and they need to be sorted out, and as prime minister I’m going to sort them out.’
“It was very bold. Very typical Ed Miliband.”
Tony Blair’s former Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer said he was not surprised by the cheer that rose up from delegates when Mr Miliband said: “I’m not Tony Blair.”
The peer, a close friend of the former prime minister, told Channel 4 News: “We lost an election. We can’t expect to win by being Gordon Brown or Tony Blair. We’ve got to look forward to something new. People are right to look forward. Ed Miliband is the man to take us forward.”
He added: “It was a very good speech. A powerful speech.
Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone declined to comment in detail on the speech but said: “I was really happy with it.”
Comedian David Baddiel said: “I just came to see the headline act and it was very good, that’s all I can tell you.”

Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy said: “It was a very personal speech. You got an insight into Ed not just as a politician but the husband, father and the son as well.
“He took a very strong line on the deficit, saying he would pay it off if the Tories didn’t.
“Under Ed’s leadership things will have to change. People who just go about their daily lives and never think of breaking the rules – they’re our people.
“People at the top who break the rules – that’s got to come to an end.”

Labour leader Ed Miliband has delivered his keynote speech to the party conference in Liverpool.

Mr Miliband said he wanted to become prime minister so he can “write a new chapter in our country’s history”.

He said that a Labour government would use tax breaks, regulation and contracts to reward firms which contribute to their community.

He talked tough on the economy, saying: “The banks must change so they are part of the solution to our economic future, not part of the problem.

Political Editor Gary Gibbon blogs: Is Ed Miliband moving to the centre?

“People in Britain are losing their jobs, they aren’t spending. Of course the world economy is suffering – but our government is making it worse.”

And to David Cameron, he issued a direct warning: “Put the politics aside. Look at what’s staring you in the face and understand that protecting our economy matters more than protecting a plan that has failed.”

Mr Miliband also took aim at Rupert Murdoch, saying he “broke the first rule in politics” by standing up to the media tycoon in the phone-hacking crisis.

The video feed to all broadcasters was lost for several minutes during the first half of Ed Miliband’s speech.

His speech comes on a bad day for Labour – a ComRes opinion poll which puts Labour behind the Conservatives for the first time in almost a year.

Tougher rules for journalists?
Media organisations should consider barring journalists who are guilty of “gross malpractice” from the trade, the Labour conference has been told. The party would also produce stricter rules on media ownership and back independent regulation of the press, shadow culture secretary Ivan Lewis said. In a message to Rupert Murdoch, Mr Lewis said: “The integrity of our media and our politics is not for sale.” Mr Lewis acknowledged that links between Labour and Mr Murdoch’s papers, which include the Sun, Times and the now defunct News of the World, had been “complex and tortuous”. Follow @C4politics for more

Channel 4 News learns union bosses are calling for a campaign of civil disobedience and sit-ins as well as strikes over the spending cuts, with one leader saying he is “prepared to go to jail”. Read more: Unions call for campaign of civil disobedience

Ed Miliband has one big advantage, blogs Political Correspondent Michael Crick. He’s the first leader of the opposition in history who knows, pretty much for certain, when the next election will be – in May 2015. The new legislation setting down that all parliaments will last five years in future makes it much easier for an opposition to plan. Only in the most unusual circumstances will an election be called before then.

Read more: Five-year parliament changes dynamics of opposition

Ed Balls has told the Labour Party conference in Liverpool that Labour has a “better way” to get Britain’s economy back on the road to recovery as he warned that the world economy was facing the “darkest, most dangerous times”.

Read more: Ed Balls sets out Labour plan to fix financial crisis

More than 11,000 delegates and visitors have gathered for Labour‘s autumn conference. Follow the live blog for latest updates and video from Liverpool and add your voice in the window above via @channel4news on Twitter or via facebook.com/Channel4News.