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Recently by Conservative Party Conference

Dominic Fisher aka praguetory writes:

The jokes and attacks on Labour were fun, but Cameron's closing speech was about communicating three serious messages, one theme and one vision.

The end is in sight for Birmingham City Council's exhausted Tory party conference delegation, no more so than for city leader Mike Whitby whose selfless dedication to duty has meant that no reception went unvisited, no Ministerial hand unshaken, writes Paul Dale.

I caught up with the great man lounging on the council's imported Breakfast Television sofa in the ICC, surrounded by his entourage, looking a little tired but very happy.
He was also looking a little, well, full. Not surprising really, since he was forced to eat two dinners last night.

Jonathan Walker writes: Ladbrokes report they have paid out punters who backed Eric Pickles to be spotted in a Birmingham curry house during the Conservative Party conference.

The Local Government Secretary used Twitter to post a picture of himself in an Indian restaurant and immediately called on Ladbrokes to "pay out!"

Alun Thorne writes.....Have just sat through fourth Mike Whitby address in 36 hours - and he was certainly on message for one of the more exciting announcements for Birmingham to come out of this week's conference.

Alun Thorne writes.....Refreshingly honest encounter with the 'big beast' Ken Clarke this afternoon at a Law Society bash at Opus just hours after he delivered his keynote speech at the ICC. Lots of common sense, a distinct absence of spin but couldn't help thinking how much he is beginning to look like John Prescott.

Dominic Fisher aka praguetory writes;

Meetings to debate policy on the conference fringe are numerous, packed and lively. Can we go back to how it was before?


Jonathan Walker writes: A good right wing policy from Ken Clarke today, as he announced prisoners would be forced to work (and earn wages), with a good proportion of what they earn siphoned off to help pay for the cost of keeping them locked up.

It sounds like the sort of thing old-fashioned Tories would lap up, but it's also been welcomed by charities which say it will help prepare offenders for life in the real world.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has promised to teach British children proper British history, which should also raise Tory spirits.

Dominic Fisher aka praguetory writes;

A referendum on the alternative vote or AV was a key concession made by the Conservative Party to secure the coalition. It's a Lib Dem idea which should be an easy thing for any Conservative to oppose, but looking at the arguments, this Tory has changed his mind.

Birmingham City Council leader Mike Whitby is like a dog with two tails at the Tory conference rushing around telling anyone who will listen how he has the ear of the Prime Minister, writes Paul Dale.
Whitby, the first Conservative leader of the council since the early 1980s, finally persuaded Cameron to pay a personal visit to the site of the new £187 million civic library in Centenary Square, a few metres from the conference hall.

Alun Thorne writes.....Reporting on the utterances of Mike Whitby can be something of minefield. So eager is he to push his positive messages about Birmingham that his natural ebulliance often gets the better of him and he ends up saying things he shouldn't. Today provided another squeeky bum moment for those tasked with trying to keep him in check.

Alun Thorne writes...Amusement at event hosted by financial services champions TheCityUK when chair and host Stuart Popham turned up late for his own event. Turned out he was sat three seats along from David Cameron for the Chancellor's speech in the main conference hall and didn't want the PM to think he had taken umbrage to the contents of George's speech. Eventually managed to sneak out during third ovation apparently.

Alun Thorne writes....I brushed off my best suit for the conference welcome event at the Water Hall. It didn't go unnoticed. It's a grey number that only sees the light of day for weddings and now party conferences. Unfortunately so many people passed comment I've now got a complex about the state of my ordinary business attire.

Jonathan Walker writes: A couple of interesting stories have come out of the Conservative conference which are now available online.

We've got some words from the Prime Minister who talks about a range of topics including plans for a Sikh "free school" in Handsworth, which have been criticised by he (Tory-led) city council.

Mr Cameron backs the proposal, saying: "This school - like any other free school - would be open to children of all religions and backgrounds. The admissions rules are clear: up to half of pupils can be chosen on the grounds of their religion and the rest of the places are for children of any faith or none. That's really important.

Dominic Fisher aka praguetory writes:

A conference veteran tells me that in 1997, he missed the looming presence of anti-Tory agitators who were a feature of Conservative conferences when we had been in government. After years of being out of power - when protestors at conference were little more than a minor curiosity - yesterday we saw the reversal which comes with power.


Dominic Fisher aka praguetory writes:

What can I say about Saturday evening at conference? With delegates pouring in from all over the country, hosting conference in Birmingham is a great opportunity for a spot of local fund-raising. Gareth Compton, who is the freshly elected Chairman of Erdington Conservatives isn't one to miss a chance to cash in and organised a highly profitable drinks and canapes event for Saturday evening at Mechu on Summer Row.

Jonathan Walker writes: I bumped into Lib Dem MP John Hemming (Yardley) at a Chinese restaurant on Saturday night. He's agreed to provide some of the entertainment at the Conservative conference, playing piano at the ICC.

So, naturally, he's got himself a pass, which he was pleased to show off. The organisation he is representing? The Conservative Party's friends the Lib Dems, of course.

John Hemming's Conservative pass

Security staff were taking no chances with the sensibilities of Tories arriving at the Conservative Party conference, writes Paul Dale.
Large printed notices were plastered all over the lifts at Jury's Inn Hotel in Broad Street, where many delegates and some minor Government Ministers are staying, warning guests that they would have to put up with a trade unions demonstration due to march past the building.
There might be noisy scenes, for goodness sake, and banners with unpleasant messages.

Jonathan Walker writes:

The Conservative Party conference has been opened by Charles Barwell, former Constituency Chairman in Birmingham Edgbaston. His was the first speech of the event, but the one I'm looking forward to most today will come from Eric Pickles, the local government secretary.

Pickles is always good value, but today he should be particularly interesting as there are rumours of an announcement about Government plans to create mayors in cities such as Birmingham.

Dominic Fisher aka praguetory writes:

Officially, Conservative Party conference - or #cpc10 for the tweeters out there - starts today on Sunday, but there was plenty happening on Saturday. Dominic Fisher, who is Chairman of Ladywood Conservatives will be blogging for the Birmingham Post over the duration of the conference. Here's his first impressions.

The Birmingham Post will be out in force at the Conservative Party Conference and at other fringe events across the city.

Paul Dale, Jonathan Walker, Neil Elkes, Jane Tyler, local political blogger PragueTory and Post Editor Alun Thorne, will all be providing exclusive content from the main event at the ICC and from numerous fringe events across the city.

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Jonathan Walker

Jonathan Walker - The Birmingham Post's political editor
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David Kuczora

David Kuczora - A PR consultant working in Birmingham and living in the 'burbs
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Alister Scott

Alister Scott - Professor of Spatial Planning and Governance, Birmingham City University
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