Five things we learnt at Labour conference

Labour Party members vote during a Brexit debate at the Labour Party’s annual conference at the Arena and Convention Centre (ACC), in Liverpool. (Stefan Rousseau/PA) Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Five things we learnt at Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool on Tuesday September 25:

– Labour delegates are very keen on keeping open the possibility of a second in-or-out vote on EU membership.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer won a standing ovation when he declared that no-one was ruling out the option of Remain in a future public vote, and the motion to keep a referendum “on the table” was passed overwhelmingly.

But some activists fear a backlash from Labour-supporting Leave voters, with one group warning of a “haemorrhage” of votes in the Midlands and Wales.

– Some Labour activists are still motivated by hatred of Margaret Thatcher, almost 28 years after she left power.

Union leader Tosh McDonald said he loathed the Conservative PM so much he set his alarm clock an hour earlier so he could “hate her for an hour longer” each day.

The Aslef boss’s mention of Baroness Thatcher was enough to prompt booing among delegates.

– Labour believes more childcare will give Britain’s toddlers better chances in life.

Jeremy Corbyn is due to use his keynote speech to conference on Wednesday to announce a dramatic expansion in access to nurseries under Labour plans to subsidise extra hours.

He told the BBC that two-year-olds in nursery “learn to socialise with other children, they learn to play, they learn to speak, they develop their language skills”, leading to better results when they get to primary school.

– Redundancy payments resulting from the collapse of engineering giant Carillion will cost taxpayers £65 million.

The Unite union said that most of the company’s 19,000 staff were entitled to make a claim, and freedom of information requests showed that £50 million had already been paid out

The cash only covers former Carillion staff, not those working for supply firms.

– Jeremy Corbyn is not worried that he is being monitored by spies.

The Labour leader shrugged off a suggestion from aide Andrew Murray that the “deep state” could be “working to block the election of a Labour government”.

Asked if he thought the security services were listening to him, Mr Corbyn told ITV News: “I haven’t noticed it if they are. It’s not something that keeps me awake at night, in fact nothing keeps me awake at night.”