Conference diary

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Cherie Blair, sporting an " I love TB" badge yesterday, has plunged into the world of comedy with disastrous results. When introduced to the comedian Laurence Clark, 31, who uses a wheelchair, at a fringe meeting, the Prime Minister's wife quipped: "Are you a stand-up comedian or a sit-down comedian?" As aides nervously eyed the floor, Mr Clark saved her blushes by brushing off the old joke. Later he said: "I don't think she made a mistake. I think she was cracking a crap joke. She should stick to the law."

Air miles Prescott

Pity the poor Labour faithful. They won't get their annual rabble-rousing end of conference address from John Prescott. He will be in Strasbourg for an EU meeting, saving Labour delegates from unravelling his unique verbal style.

Snappers revolt

Press photographers threatened a walkout from Tony Blair's speech after spin doctors tried to ban some from the floor. The control freaks backed down after the snappers exercised industrial muscle at a mass meeting.

Marx bites back

After David Miliband was stung by a badge declaring "My favourite Miliband is Ed", left-wingers have produced a rival "My favourite Miliband is Ralph" badge, a reference to the brothers' Marxist historian father.

Good Day

Tony Blair, obviously. But is it enough to stave off calls for him to name the day of his departure?

Bad Day

Gordon Brown, whose photograph failed to appear in the Labour conference magazine.

Today's agenda

MORNING: Speeches by Jack Straw and Hilary Benn.

AFTERNOON: Education debate; health Q&A.


12.30 Renationalising the railways, with Bob Crow.

12.45 David Blunkett on welfare reform.

5.45 pm Social justice, with Patricia Hewitt.