Conference diary

The Liberal Democrat shadow cabinet cocktail party turned into a damp squib when water dripped from the ceiling of the Imperial Hotel on to the mini-samosas after a bath overflowed.

WHITE-KNUCKLE RIDE OF THE DAY

Don Foster, culture spokesman, lost his cool when he was invited to be flung around on the Pepsi Max Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach for television news. "Bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep bleep" went the soundtrack as the Bath MP tried to defy G forces. The BBC made him go around again, without the fruity language.

TOUGH LIBERAL OF THE DAY

Tim Colbourne, adviser on terrorism and crime to the tough-but-tender home affairs spokesman Mark Oaten showed a Rambo-like side to his character in a Blackpool video arcade. He blasted dozens of terrorists in a gory shoot-em-up video game where he played a police sniper.

DEJA VU OF THE DAY

Charles Kennedy's policy paper is grandly entitled Meeting the Challenge. Those with long memories may remember Neil Kinnock's slogan, "Meet the Challenge, Make the Change". Kennedy's henchmen hope no one will notice.

HEEL OF THE DAY, PART THREE

Sarah Teather has played down her Theresa May-esque stiletto heels. "In my experience, two inches is quite enough," she said over a glass of wine.

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