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Gove speech: Cabinet gets personal

Gove speech: Cabinet gets personal

by Anoosh Chakelian / 01 Oct 2013 16:36

Education secretary Michael Gove delivered an "off-the-cuff" speech today, with no written text briefed beforehand. This approach made his address to conference slightly rough around the edges, but it also made it personal. 

He told of the journey which he and his team (well, teams past and present) have been on in his educational "mission" - he used this word twice, tying nicely into

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Ken Clarke berates UKIP – and his party

Ken Clarke berates UKIP – and his party

by Anoosh Chakelian / 01 Oct 2013 15:12

Speaking at a fringe event discussing ‘To be or not to be in the EU’ this afternoon at Tory conference, Ken Clarke – famed pro-EU Conservative MP and government minister without portfolio – spoke firmly in favour of Britain remaining a member, and used the panel debate as a chance to lash out at UKIP – and the Tories.

He was particularly passionate on the subject of immigrants using the health service, following health secretary

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Boris & Nigel’s star turns should worry the PM

Boris & Nigel’s star turns should worry the PM

by Anoosh Chakelian / 30 Sep 2013 19:42

As if this day hasn’t been tough enough for David Cameron – his party incessantly upstaged by euroscamp Nigel Farage all day wooing Tory delegates and openly stating his intention of “disrupting and ruining” the PM’s conference – another great pretender enters the beleaguered royal court of Manchester Conference Centre.

Step forward Boris Johnson: the Pied Piper of London beguiling voters left, right and centre to his personality cult deployed merrily from City Hall. Many Tory voters, and MPs

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The alternative leader's speech

The alternative leader's speech

by Sam Macrory / 30 Sep 2013 15:30

A media scrum. A standing ovation. Flashbulbs popping. A cheering crowd.

The party leader had arrived at the Conservative Party conference.

No, not David Cameron.

This was the long awaited debut of Nigel Farage MEP. Leader of Ukip. The party formerly known as fruitcakes and loonies.

Farage's appearance at a Monday lunchtime fringe event had been erased from the official conference guide in a desperate attempt to downplay its importance. Instead the Ukip leader’s walk

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Osborne’s speech: All’s fair in tough love and war?

Osborne’s speech: All’s fair in tough love and war?

by Anoosh Chakelian / 30 Sep 2013 12:55

“He’s the right man with the right plan” was businesswoman and Apprentice femme-fatigued Karren Brady’s Dr Seuss-esque introduction of the chancellor to conference this afternoon. The Tory Party’s new small business ambassador – another government ‘tsar’ pinched from reality TV (remember Dragon’s Den’s James Caan?) – was doing none of her signature eyebrow-raising today, championing this government’s appeal to both small and big business.

George Osborne had reason to smile his doughy, slightly menacing,

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Women, ladies, girls: How to attract female voters?

Women, ladies, girls: How to attract female voters?

by Anoosh Chakelian / 29 Sep 2013 19:36

“Although Lord Ashcroft may not be a woman, I know he’s very much in touch with his feminine side”, jokes Andrew Mitchell to a fringe audience earlier this afternoon at Tory Conference. He and his panel of fellow white middle-class men had been asked why they are addressing the question of ‘how to win in 2015’ without outlining their strategy to garner more female voters.

And aside from all the joshing and boyishly apologetic acknowledgement

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Winning in 2015: Leave the Soviets out of it

Winning in 2015: Leave the Soviets out of it

by Anoosh Chakelian / 29 Sep 2013 17:22

“Comrades,” is how Lord Ashcroft addressed the crowd at a ConservativeHome fringe event this afternoon, before adding, “oh, sorry that was last week…”

Chuckles of amusement, tinged notably with relief, rang out across the packed room in the Midland hotel. It seems the pollster and businessman is a bit of a rockstar here at Tory Conference, due to his extensive and revealing polling and a sassy Twitter presence; before the event began, delegates were asking

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British Health Report: The Hunt and the hunted

British Health Report: The Hunt and the hunted

by Sara Stanger / 26 Sep 2013 16:45

The British Health Report, which we published yesterday, reveals the true extent of doctors’ dissatisfaction with the current NHS system, including the shocking fact that 72% of doctors surveyed think Jeremy Hunt has been an unsuccessful Health Minister.

Jeremy Hunt has been widely criticised by the medical profession in the report. Of the nearly three quarters of doctors polled who questioned his ability as Health Secretary, almost half believe Hunt does not properly understand the

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Competition: Tickets to see Handbagged

Competition: Tickets to see Handbagged

26 Sep 2013 13:11

Following it's critical acclaim as a short play in the Tricycle's Women, Power & Politics season (2010), the feature length version of Moira Buffini's satirical drama Handbagged, is now staged at the Tricycle Theatre until 9 November.

 

Handbags, hairspray and sensible shoes

The monarch – Liz. Her most powerful subject – Maggie. 

One believed there was no such thing as society. The other had vowed to serve it.

Handbagged opens the clasp on the

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Ed Miliband’s Q+A: Banks, Burnham, and B-ball

Ed Miliband’s Q+A: Banks, Burnham, and B-ball

by Anoosh Chakelian / 25 Sep 2013 17:03

“I saw someone waving a parrot earlier on,” Ed Miliband informed conference before his Q+A with audience members. Perhaps that was someone making a cruel jibe at his repetition, repetition, repetition speech yesterday which saw him incessantly testing his new soundbites. See Michael Deacon’s sketch for The Telegraph here to get an idea, in case you missed the speech itself…

Question and answer sessions where the leader is required to be spontaneous and chatty with

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Emotive Burnham speech goes for Lib Dems

Emotive Burnham speech goes for Lib Dems

by Anoosh Chakelian / 25 Sep 2013 13:50

“Hope.”

This was a word that had a line to itself in Andy Burnham’s speech on the NHS today, and is a four-letter indicator of the tone of his speech. Emotive and emotional, his address at one point saw him tell the conference hall “I have never been clearer about anything else in my life than this” on what he described as a “malnourished” social care system.

And this punchy passion was deployed equally as

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Anarchist biscuits and radical walking with Tristram Hunt

Anarchist biscuits and radical walking with Tristram Hunt

by Anoosh Chakelian / 25 Sep 2013 11:13

As yesterday’s evening sun dusted the seafront and shimmered upon the pebbles, an animated gaggle of people gathered outside the conference centre, waiting in cheery anticipation. But what was behind this hotchpotch brigade of bright-eyed students, nostalgic radicals, journalists grateful to see the outdoors, and delegates (on the whole notably excited, female ones) straying from the safety of the auditorium?

Tristram Hunt was on his way. To Do Some History.

Teaming up with radical walking

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