Conference diary

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Indy Politics

Call me Gordon

Gordon Brown headed a series of senior ministers and Labour figures who dropped into The Independent's conference party. Although he betrayed no emotion when told about Labour's latest commanding poll lead, he was in expansive mood. When one party-goer addressed him as Prime Minister, he shot back: "You always used to call me Gordon."

Heir to Prezza

Spare a thought for Harriet Harman, who will today have to try to step into John Prescott's shoes and close the conference. His barnstorming, if slightly mangled speeches, always had the Labour faithful on their feet. Whatever her qualities, Ms Harman does not pack Prezza's punch.

Liberty belle

Shami Chakrabarti, the feisty director of Liberty, is rapidly becoming the darling of the conference season. Last week top Lib Dem Nick Clegg described her as the party's pin-up while Jack Straw, her old boss at the Home Office and now the Justice Secretary, said she was the "best of the civil service... on many occasions she used to sit across the table arguing the toss".

All a Blur

Spotted sipping latte and tapping at his laptop in the conference cafe was besuited Blur drummer Dave Rowntree, who is now on the party's candidates list. One fan gushed: "I used to really fancy him. I can't believe he has turned into an identikit New Labour politician."

Good day

Labour's bank balance. Jack Dromey, the Labour party treasurer, declared that the party was paying back its debts and living within its means (just in time for an election).

Bad day

Lord Kinnock, who was barracked on the seashore by pension campaigners. One said: "You're a bloody traitor. You're a disgrace. You're like Gordon Brown. A bloody disgrace. Now bugger off with him. Bugger off Kinnock."

Today's agenda:

9.15am: Question and answers on environment, housing and transport.

Speech by Jacqui Smith, Home Secretary.

Closing speech by Harriet Harman,deputy leader.

12.45pm: Conference ends.

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