Conference Highlights

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Indy Politics

Stage management

Stage management

Liberal Democrat planners' attempt to engineer a photo opportunity for Jody Dunn, right, their love-poetry writing candidate for the Hartlepool Commons seat, were a little too transparent yesterday. Party activists in the conference hall were given instructions to "wave placards at the end of Jody Dunn speech". A message on each seat in the hall said: "Please ensure your placard is the correct way up and displayed towards the stage."

Most risqué comment

Charles Kennedy, who, on being told that the Family Planning Association was displaying vibrators on its stall, said "I have some too" and promptly opened his jacket to reveal two pagers.

Oops! Speaking of pager messages.

Sandra Gidley MP, left, the party's women's spokesperson, was baffled to receive this message from Charles Kennedy's aide de camp: "Please call re: Charles, beach and women." It should have read "Charles, speech and women."

Anorak of the day

Brainy, or is that obsessive, Lib Dems won 400 "political anoraks" in a quiz run by the Electoral Commission.

Today's agenda

9.30am: Debate on punishment and rehabilitation of offenders

10.45am: Charles Kennedy

12.15pm: Conference ends

Quotes of the day

"Our best hope for the future is to win the hearts, minds and tastebuds of today's children."

Paul Burstow, health spokesman on obesity

"The Conservatives have come up with another wheeze: change the name of the party. Why not just shorten it to Con? It's short, snappy and an entirely accurate description of the product."

Lord Dholakia, outgoing party president

Most sought after

A peerage: 300 Liberal Democrats have applied to be considered as future members of the House of Lords. The conference plans to select a shortlist for Charles Kennedy to choose from.

Caveat of the day

The Met's Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick was read his rights as he appeared on the platform as part of a session on crime with the party's home affairs spokesman, Mark Oaten. He had the right to remain silent.

Nicest gesture

Adrian Sanders MP is to adopt a retired labrador guide dog called Todd Darling.

In the doghouse

David Laws, left, who after cancelling his Orange Book fringe meeting, has been vilified by delegates for questioning party policy and is conspicuously low profile.

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