Miliband slams schoolgirl heckler

The Labour leader Ed Miliband has condemned the delegate who heckled a schoolgirl who explained to the party's conference how her academy school encouraged the arts. The person shouted: "A lot of comprehensives do the same."

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Stephen Twigg: 'We are the party of One Nation education'

Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg set out his vision for the education system at Labour's party conference.

He also lashed out at the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, claiming even Conservatives think he is "extreme and out of touch".

Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg address the Labour party conference

Mr Twigg said: "Michael Gove wants narrow, elitist education.

"We are the party of One Nation education.

"Instead of going back to O-Levels, we will look forward.

"Instead of coming up with a plan on the back of an envelope, we will engage the experts - in business and education."

Mr Twigg outlined plans for a New Deal for Teachers, including an idea for graduates who take up posts in schools in poorer areas having part of their tuition fees paid off by the taxpayer.

He also said a Labour government would ensure "incompetent" teachers were removed from the profession in an effort to raise the overall status of the job.

Harman's Page 3 parody: 'Here is today's news in briefs'

Harriet Harman started her speech on the final day of the Labour party conference by parodying a Page 3 caption.

In a high-pitched voice: She said: "I'm Hattie, aged 62, from Camberwell, and here is today's news in briefs."

Harman has previously spoken out against Page 3 girls saying that the tabloid pictures of topless females is not "the right thing for women in the 21st century".

Mrs Harman then went on to enthusiastically praise Ed Miliband's keynote speech this week, saying "You knocked the ball right out of the park!"

Labour would devolve more power to the local level

Labour will devolve more power to the local level if it wins the next election, shadow communities secretary, Hilary Benn, has said at the Labour party conference.

Mr Benn also admitted the last government held on to too much control.

Too much power in England is still wielded in Westminster, and if we are honest we have been too wedded to that way of doing things in the past. That needs to change. We really need to change.

And do you know what? There's nothing to fear and there's everything to gain. Because our job is to give people locally the tools they need to do their job."Decisions taken closer to the people, by the people.

Mr Benn also launched a wide-ranging attack on the Government for slashing funding to local councils, blaming it for causing hardship and holding up housebuilding.

Labour pledge to focus on NI reconciliation talks

Labour would help set up reconciliation talks for Northern Ireland to deal with the legacy of the Troubles, shadow Northern Ireland secretary Vernon Coaker has said.

He accused the Westminster of stalling the process by refusing to facilitate talks between the parties.

Shadow Northern Ireland secretary Vernon Coaker

Mr Coaker told delegates in Manchester:

"A shared future can only happen through building shared spaces and shared experiences with shared prosperity and shared responsibility.

"That includes taking responsibility for what happened in the past. Because we need to deal with the legacy of Northern Ireland's Troubles, the death of 3,000 people and injuries and trauma for tens of thousands more.

"We can't truly move forward until we do.

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YouGov/TheSun poll gives Labour 14-point lead over the Conservatives

A YouGov/The Sun survey on the state of the parties gives Labour a 14-point lead over the Conservatives.

It is the first YouGov poll conducted since Miliband's conference speech and the Labour lead has gone up six points since Wednesday.

Figures also show that the proportion of voters that see Ed Miliband as a strong leader has gone up.

  • 31% of those questioned thought Miliband was up to the job of prime minister, compared with 25% before the conference.
  • The proportion viewing him as a strong leader rose from 16% to 19%.

However, David Cameron still led by a margin of 31% to 27% when people were asked who would be the best PM.

Twigg: 'We have the best generation of teachers ever'

We have the best generation of teachers ever. But it can be even better. We will establish a New Deal for Teachers. New rewards and new entitlements to training and with the responsibility to improve year on year.

The key to One Nation Education is not the type of school but what happens in the classroom. Our education system is only as good as its staff.

– Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg

Labour's Stephen Twigg to pay tribute to former teacher

Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg will praise the teacher who inspired him to be the first from his school to go to Oxford University, at Labour Party conference today.

However unlike his party leader, the shadow minister said he did not expect his former teacher - the "most ironically named" Mr Coward who taught him A-level economics at Southgate comprehensive in north London - to be in the audience for the speech.

"Probably without him I would not have gone (to Oxford) because it wasn't something that generally was encouraged," he said.

Twigg: 'Michael Gove is totally outdated'

Education isn't just a moral right, it is an economic good too. The Tories claim they want high standards. But they've put standards at risk. The biggest cuts to education since the 50s, and teacher numbers falling.

Michael Gove claims to be in favour of rigour. But he is totally outdated. Rote learning and regurgitating facts. An exam system from the 1950s. We believe young people need both knowledge and skills. The rigour of the future, not the past.

– Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg
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