Tories 2013: Latest updates

Day three of the Conservative party conference in Manchester.

Boris Johnson: Prime Minster hints are 'just a joke'

The London Mayor has mischievously hinted at an interest in being Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson pointed out to the conference that one French politician had managed to hold the office while still being mayor of Bordeaux.

And the Prime Minister did not seem to mind the idea of Mr Johnson returning to Westminster, as ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports:

Latest from the Conservative party conference.

Cameron laughs during Boris Johnson's speech

The Prime Minister appeared to have enjoyed the speech by Boris Johnson at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester today.

David Cameron was photographed laughing heartily at gags made by the London mayor.

Cameron laughs at London Mayor Boris Johnson as he addresses the Conservative Party conference. Credit: PA
Cameron pictured laughing out loud. Credit: Empics

Mr Cameron told ITV News today he intends to serve a full second term if he is re-elected Prime Minister in 2015.

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PM jokes blood pressure is 'off the chart' before speech

David Cameron joked his blood pressure is going "off the chart" as he makes the final preparations for his keynote speech to the Conservative Party conference tomorrow.

The Prime Minister joked with a nurse as he toured a medical centre in Manchester to highlight a new scheme to extend GP surgery hours.

David Cameron joked his blood pressure was 'off the chart with worry' ahead of his keynote conference speech.
David Cameron joked his blood pressure was 'off the chart with worry' ahead of his keynote conference speech. Credit: ITV News.

Chatting with practice sister Julie Lees at the Range Medical Centre, Mr Cameron said he should "set a good example" to the public by having a flu jab but would not "because I've got my speech tomorrow".

"Don't take my blood pressure today either. I think that would probably be off the chart with the worry," he joked.

Welfare reforms 'to end something for nothing culture'

Forcing benefits claimants to spend 35 hours a week applying for a job will "end the something for nothing culture", Iain Duncan Smith said today.

Mr Duncan Smith told the Conservative Party conference that the pilot scheme, which will make the long-term unemployed who cannot find work attend a job centre, would be targeted at those who looked as if they are about to drop out of the Work Programme.

Iain Duncan Smith addresses the Conservative Party conference.
Iain Duncan Smith addresses the Conservative Party conference. Credit: ITV News

It will ensure the long-term unemployed visit mandatory attendance centres at their local job centre to apply for interviews from 9am to 5pm every week day, the Work and Pensions Secretary said.

"Alongside what we have already done with mandatory work programme and our tougher sanctions regime, this marks the end of the something for nothing culture," he added.

Pickles warns of 'parallel universe' with Lib-Lab coalition

A "parallel universe" with a Labour-Lib Dem coalition in power would mean three-day electricity blackouts, votes for prisoners and soaring taxes, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has said.

Imagining what could have happened had the Tories not become the senior coalition partners, Mr Pickles warned of a "dour" Gordon Brown as Prime Minister, cursing Tony Blair and listening to the advice of former spin doctor Damian McBride and "policy wonk" Ed Miliband.

Image from 1977 of two children with candles in a blackout.
Eric Pickles warned a Labour-Lib Dem coalition could see a return to the blackouts of the 1970s. Credit: PA/PA Archive

He told the party conference that the Cabinet would have featured disgraced ex-Lib Dem minister Chris Huhne - elevated to "Lord Huhne of Wormwood Scrubs" - championing prisoner voting rights and "Baron" Len McCluskey, with the Unite leader abolishing Margaret Thatcher's trade union reforms.

"In reality, Gordon may be absent. But they are the same old Labour Party," Mr Pickles added.

'35% of Brits' finally think the economy is getting better

More than a third of Brits believe the state of the economy has got better over the last three months, according to the ITV News Index carried out by ComRes.

Of those surveyed, 35% said the UK economy is better than it was three months ago - the highest on record for the ITV News/ComRes poll.

Money in a machine.
The ITV News Index suggests 35% of Brits believe the state of the economy has got better over the last three months. Credit: Reuters

That compares to 30% who felt it had got worse over that period, marking the lowest level on record for the survey.

The poll's release follows Chancellor George Osborne's conference speech in which he vowed to keep cutting public spending to create a budget surplus in the next Parliament.

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Boris' Labour dig met with silence at Tory conference

London Mayor Boris Johnson said a Labour Government "is the greatest barrier to competitiveness" in the UK.

However, when he asked what the greatest threat was during his conference speech, a silence fell over the hall.

As someone shouted out that it was visas he exclaimed, "Not visas! Much worse than visas. What is the greatest threat we face? Come on folks - pay attention!"

Eventually a delegate got the correct answer and was met with applause and cheers.

Boris jokes he 'delivered' on London 2012 baby boom

Boris Johnson reminded Tory conference delegates of his prediction that last year's London Olympics and Paralympics would spur a baby boom.

He told the Conservative Party conference: "I prophesied that the athletes had moved the people of this country to such paroxysms of excitement on the sofas of Britain that they had not only inspired a generation, but probably helped to create one as well."

"Like all my predictions and promises, I have delivered, in that GLA demographics say live births in London will be 136,942, which is more than in any year since 1966 when England won the World Cup."

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