Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham LIVE: Major security operation in place | Roads closed | Transport

Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham LIVE: Major security operation in place | Roads closed | Transport

Its time for EU to get serious on Brexit, says Dominic Raab

Ruth Davidson, Leader of the Scottish Conservatives, speaks to party delegates in Birmingham. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Peter Walker

Friends, as we approach these crucial few weeks and months, we need to go back to our Conservative principles. The principles of country, of duty, of practicality and of delivery. The belief that every prudent act is based on accommodation and accord.

With an unmatched number of scoops, Brexit has become our most read and commented-on topic since the referendum. Follow key Brexit developments from differing regional perspectives along with expert trusted analysis.

Video: Theresa May faces Brexit criticism at Conservative Party Conference

That the best is the enemy of the good if it stops us improving the outcomes for the country. The attitude that listens, eyebrows raised, to ivory-towered schemes of the ideological puritan and replies: aye, right.

The prime minister was in the audience listening to the applause as a former head of the CBI attacked Mr Johnson. Referring to his reported f*** business dismissal of industrys concerns over Brexit, Lord Jones of Birmingham said: It showed him for the irrelevant and offensive person he really is.

And let me be clear today: the best way to tax international companies is through international agreements, but the time for talking is coming to an end and the stalling has to stop. If we cannot reach agreement the UK will go it alone with a digital services tax of its own.

Boris Johnson was dismissed as irrelevant and offensive from the platform of the Conservative conference today as he faced a backlash for criticising Theresa May and her Brexit negotiations.

Our prime minister has been constructive and respectful. In return we heard jibes from senior leaders. And we saw a starkly one-sided approach to negotiation, where the EUs theological approach allows no room for serious compromise. And yet we are expected to cast aside the territorial integrity of our own country. If the EU want a deal, they need to get serious. And they need to do it now.

The former foreign secretary said that the bridge and other ambitious infrastructure projects would help to restore national self-belief in an eve-of-conference…

Conservative conference: Jacob Rees-Mogg on Brexit and Chequers

Labours mass complaint to the press regulator Ipso over this summers press coverage of Jeremy Corbyns visit to a Tunisian cemetery in 2014 has been dropped, according to individuals at the newspapers involved.

Mr Johnson was also roundly mocked by his former cabinet colleagues for his proposal to build a bridge between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The party made the unprecedented decision to complain against most national newspapers, complaining that the Sun, the Times, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Express and Metro had misrepresented the event, which saw the Labour leader attend a ceremony commemorating Palestinians who died in the country.

Asked about Boris Johnsons comments, and the reaction to them, the Conservative MP told Politics Live presenter Jo Coburn: “I am not going to take a pot-shot at Philip Hammond for what he said about somebody else.”

The party had complained that the articles suggested he was commemorating members of the Black September terrorist group or those who carried out the 1972 Munich massacre, which Corbyn denied. Any Ipso investigation could have forced the party to disclose extra details and supporting evidence, while also forcing the press regulator to rule on a definitive series of events.

Video: Brexit clashes on day one of Tory Party conference

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It is not clear why the complaint will not be going further, although one possibility is that Labour simply allowed the complain to time out. An Ipso spokesperson declined to comment.

He said ERG members have not yet voted against the government, but would do so if it did not deliver on its manifesto commitment.

Betty the badger, meets the heritage sites campaigners outside Tory conference pic.twitter.com/nF2Lga1qDA

It comes after Theresa May on the BBCs Andrew Marr show refused to deny that a no-deal Brexit would lead to a hard border being imposed in Ireland. She, and many of her government and leading Brexiteers have stressed they will not agree to any deal with the EU which would effectively see a border created in the Irish sea.

Several people have noted the slightly sparse crowd in the auditorium for Jeremy Wrights speech, among them his shadow (and Labour deputy leader) Tom Watson.

The poll also found a near 50/50 split among the public on if there should be a second referendum. Should there be another one, the survey found a near similar vote to how Northern Ireland voted in the 2016 referendum with 56% in favour or remaining.

Video: Theresa May heads to party conference as opposition to Chequers plan mounts

I got a bigger audience for my conference speech than Jeremy Wright – and I didnt even do a conference speech. pic.twitter.com/i06M3CSflT

In a poll on the Belfast Telegraph Facebook page last week 60% of the near 4,000 taking part said Northern Ireland should have special status after Brexit.

The final speech of the day went to the new-ish culture secretary, Jeremy Wright, and its fair to say this was one which will not go down as a coded leadership bid – mainly, Im afraid, as it was really very dull.

Results from the survey for the Times, published on Monday, found 60% believed the Prime Minister would renege on her promise on avoiding a sea border.

It was a mainly a run-through of the UKs cultural and sporting highlights and triumphs – rather cheekily Wright added Europes Ryder Cup win to a list of events won by Britons.

The highlights, such as they were, comprised a brief mention of Theresa Mays plan for a post-Brexit festival, and a reference to the fact his predecessor in the job, the more tech-friendly Matt Hancock, had planned to appear at the conference as a hologram.

The poll also found 22% though the DUP tie-up with the Conservatives would be of “great benefit” with 51% feeling it would be “detrimental”.

The Brexit event, Wright said, would be a festival of national pride and international impact in 2022.

Twenty-six percent had their doubts she would keep her promise while only 12% said they had their full trust in her maintaining her pledge.

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And while were on that subject, some of you may have heard that I might be delivering this speech as a hologram. To those of you who have spent the last 5 minutes thinking this is the most realistic hologram youve ever seen, I should make it clear that I decided not to.

At this moment, and especially on a subject like Brexit, I dont think our political debate needs more virtual reality, it needs more actual reality. And the reality is we are leaving the European Union.

Of their conversations about a Canada-style trade deal, Hammond told the paper: Boris sits there and at the end of it he says, Yeah but, er, there must be a way, I mean, if you just, if you, erm, come on, we can do it, Phil, we can do it. I know we can get there … We just have to want it a bit more, we just have to wish a bit harder, we just have to be a bit more bullish and it will all be fine. It wont all be fine because we are dealing with grown-ups here and we have to deal with the real world situation we face.

A worrying sight perhaps for Theresa May, after the scenery failures that dogged her leaders speech last year.

Ruth Davidson makes her speech. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images The bulk of Ruth Davidsons speech is a plea for a sort of practical centrism, particularly around Brexit. She appeals for politics to look beyond the sound and fury that passes for our politics just now, where the extremes get ever louder and the centre falls to silence.

Latvias ambassador to the UK, Baiba Braže, in response to a tweet highlighting Hunts comparison of the EU to the Soviet Union, said: Soviets killed, deported, exiled and imprisoned 100 thousands of Latvias inhabitants after the illegal occupation in 1940, and ruined lives of three generations, while the EU has brought prosperity, equality, growth, respect.

In particular, she argues for pragmatism over Brexit, urging people to support Theresa Mays Chequers plans, with comments which could definitely be seen as a jab at Boris Johnson and other more hard Brexiters:

Friends, as we approach these crucial few weeks and months, we need to go back to our Conservative principles. The principles of country, of duty, of practicality and of delivery. The belief that every prudent act is based on accommodation and accord.

Hammond was critical in his assessment of Johnsons record and capabilities. Asked by the Daily Mail whether Johnson could become prime minister, Hammond said: I dont expect it to happen. He added: Boris is a wonderful character, but hes never been a detail man. Ive had many discussions with him on Brexit.

That the best is the enemy of the good if it stops us improving the outcomes for the country. The attitude that listens, eyebrows raised, to ivory-towered schemes of the ideological puritan and replies: aye, right.

Heres the truth: We can agree a Brexit deal under the Conservatives, or we can risk handing the keys of Downing Street to Jeremy Corbyn. I know which one I believe is in the national interest. I stand by the prime minister.

Lets remember this also: the rock upon which this party is founded is a belief in the unity of this country and the enterprise of its people. So lets commit to making this our number one priority: to make sure that the union – our union – emerges stronger, not weaker, from these next few weeks – because thatis what matters the most.

Next up to speak is Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Tories and a perennial conference favourite, mainly as shes one of the very few senior Conservatives who knows how to properly deliver a speech. She gets a rousing reception, even though TV cutaway shots seem to show the conference hall is by no means full of delegates.

With Theresa May sitting in the audience, the very mention of Boris Johnson got a huge round of applause from Tory members in the main conference hall yesterday. But not in a good way. At least not for him.

Boris Johnson appears to mock Theresa May by recreating her naughtiest moment and running through a field of

Michael Gove makes his speech. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Michael Gove is the next speaker in the hall, and he is clearly in the mood to take on Boris Johnsons role as the delegates favourite cabinet turn. The start of his speech has very little to do with the environment, his ministerial responsibility, and is instead firmly based on bashing Labour.

Gove spends some time condemning what he calls unacceptable antisemitism in the Labour party. It is notable that, unlike James Brokenshire, who spoke before, Gove does not mention tackling anti-Muslim hatred, something the Conservatives face accusations of harbouring.

This week, in this party, for the sake of our children, let us commit to unite so that the Moscow-loving, Hamas-hugging, high-taxing, moderate-bashing, job-destroying, national anthem-avoiding, NATO-hating, class war-provoking, one-man museum of economic folly that is Jeremy Corbyn, is never let anywhere near Downing Street.

The Leave Means Leave bus in Birmingham. Photograph: Oli Scarff/AFP/Getty Images The highlight of a chaotic and poorly attended Leave Means Leave lunchtime event in the city centre was a standoff between hard Brexit campaigner Richard Tice and a noisy group of pro-remain demonstrators wearing blue t shirts patterned with the EU flag.

Polly Ernest, from the Stand of Defiance European Movement (SODEM) claimed Tices hands were shaking when challenged, and said he accused them of trying to support a losers vote in the form of a second referendum.

Only a handful of journalists attended despite the offer of free alcohol from pub chain Wetherspoons non-EU drinks menu and the promise of a short bus tour around the city of Birmingham, although that was not helped by the fact that PR agency involved only came on board at the last minute.

Nor was there any sign of Tim Martin, the Wetherspoon boss, who had billed as attending but in fact was not able to turn up until 4pm.

Leave Means Leave plans to hold a string of rallies around the country in the coming weeks, including on on Saturday in Torquay where Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees-Mogg will share a stage and organisers hope almost 2,000 people will attend.

Richard Tice, the organisations chairman, said he was on a save Brexit tour in opposition to Mays Chequers proposals to focus on the message that no deal is no problem.

Jacob Rees-Mogg at the fringe event. Photograph: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images Jacob Rees-Mogg, the darling of the Tory grassroots, has said Brexiters must get away from the Ukip-isation of Brexit in order to win back the votes of young people.

I think theres lots of failures of propaganda really that we have allowed Brexit to be about immigration or putting up barriers or not liking going on holiday in Europe. Its none of that. Its about who runs your government, do you or somebody else, he said.

PM must prove to Conservatives she can strike Brexit deal

I think thats a really popular argument with young people and we need to get out there and make it and try and get away from the Ukip-isation of Brexit. I think the Ukip view, you may think its odd for me to say, of some sepia tinted 1950s view of Brexit has never been my vision of Brexit. Its about being a global nation rather than a narrow European one.

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Rees-Mogg, who has been viewed as a potential successor to May, said that it was time for the Tories to focus more on their domestic policy agenda.

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Once we have delivered Brexit we have to get on with health and housing, we have to be saying to people we are going to improve your life, he said.

Boris will never be Prime Minister, blasts Hammond

In a swipe at the party leadership, he added: What resonates with people is when you say we will make your lives a little bit better and frankly we are not saying that at the moment.

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The afternoon speeches have begun, and first up is housing and communities secretary James Brokenshire. He begins with an emotional section about the lung cancer which forced him to step down from the cabinet at the start of the year:

Theresa Mays Plan for GBP£120M Festival of Brexit Britain Mocked on Social Media

Friends, its been quite a year for me and today is a particular personal milestone. When I addressed our conference 12 months ago, I didnt know it, but I had lung cancer…

When you receive a cancer diagnosis, when you are forced to confront your own mortality head on, it makes you appreciate whats important… what makes life worth living.

I know I couldnt have got through this period without the incredible love and support of my wife Cathy and our three children, Sophie, Jemma and Ben.

Theyve kept me positive, theyve helped get me through surgery, through my recovery and back to strength.

But I also know that if it wasnt for our amazing NHS I wouldnt be here today. They saved my life and in some way will have touched the lives of every person in this hall. To all those who work in our NHS – thank you.

And let me be clear today: the best way to tax international companies is through international agreements, but the time for talking is coming to an end and the stalling has to stop. If we cannot reach agreement the UK will go it alone with a digital services tax of its own.

WATCH Top Tories take aim at irrelevant and offensive Boris Johnson after latest Brexit jibe

Our prime minister has been constructive and respectful. In return we heard jibes from senior leaders. And we saw a starkly one-sided approach to negotiation, where the EUs theological approach allows no room for serious compromise. And yet we are expected to cast aside the territorial integrity of our own country. If the EU want a deal, they need to get serious. And they need to do it now.

Philip Hammond says this is one of the things Conservatives can tell their children. I imagine school playgrounds all over the country are erupting with excitement. pic.twitter.com/Kv6JTP49oF

Instant verdict on Hammond speech: It was certainly what pundits like to call wide ranging – usually a shorthand for a minister wandering off piste in an attempt to burnish their leadership credentials. At this conference virtually every minister is on some manoeuvres of some sort, so perhaps not so much can be read into it.

In fact, after the excitement of the chancellors overnight attack on Boris Johnson, the speech was largely a much-as-expected defence of Chequers, of his economic record, and an attack on Labour, which the one notable announcement of tackling the tax schemes of web giants.

In terms of outside comment, John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, attacked the speech as showing a party that is increasingly irrelevant and cut off from the real day to day life most people experience.

Adam Marshall, head of the British Chambers of Commerce, said firms would feel heartened by the chancellors forthright support for business as the foundation of both a strong economy and a strong society.

Hammond ends with a robust defence of the governments (and thus his) economic record, and attacking that of Labour.

I have set out my argument for the renewal of our economic creed to secure for Britain the benefit of the market economy for the years to come, to ensure it can respond to the concerns and meet the aspirations of the next generation.

Because Corbyns plan offers no future for Britain, and it is our duty to provide a better answer – to make the case for the long term over the short term. For the substantial over the superficial. For evolution over revolution.

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