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As it happenedended1538412374

Conservative conference - as it happened: Philip Hammond insists Theresa May's Brexit plan is not dead as he urges warring Tory MPs to stand 'foursquare behind' her

All the updates from Birmingham, as they happened

Lizzy Buchan
Political Correspondent
Monday 01 October 2018 17:01 BST
Conservative Party Conference: Five things to watch

Philip Hammond won applause from the Tory faithful when he urged them to stand “foursquare behind the prime minister” to rescue her Brexit plan.

The Chancellor rejected claims from both pro and anti-EU Tories that the Chequers proposals were dead, after their mauling by the EU – insisting they could still deliver an agreement.

“Mr Tusk [the European Council president] says it won’t work - but that’s what people said about the lightbulb in 1878,” he told the Conservative conference. “Our job is to prove him wrong.”

The run-up to the Birmingham conference has been dominated by infighting over Theresa May's Brexit approach, which Boris Johnson described as "deranged".

See below for live updates


Welcome to The Independent's liveblog, where we will be bringing you all the latest 

Lizzy Buchan1 October 2018 08:26

Here's our overnight story after the first day of Conservative conference  

Lizzy Buchan1 October 2018 08:40

In an exclusive interview with The IndependentAlexander Temerko - one of the party's biggest donors - warned Tory MPs that he and other backers will not accept the party seeking a catastrophic no-deal Brexit.  

Story here:

Lizzy Buchan1 October 2018 08:50

The story dominating the morning is Philip Hammond's attacks on Boris Johnson, his former cabinet colleague.

The Chancellor is giving his conference address later and is all over the airwaves this morning - meaning he has had plenty of time to put the boot in,

Lizzy Buchan1 October 2018 09:09

Hammond has given a series of broadcast interviews this morning, so I've picked out some highlights.

Asked about Boris Johnson's Brexit plan, he told Good Morning Britain: "It isn't about taking back control, it's about fantasy world.

"The European Union have been very clear that as they negotiate with us they have their red lines, just as we have our red lines, and they are not prepared to negotiate for a free trade agreement which includes the whole of the United Kingdom because of the impact that would have on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

"We can spend our time sitting at a table, banging it and demanding something that our negotiating partners have clearly told us is not on offer, or we can try to find a way through with a solution that works for Britain and will also be acceptable to them within their red lines."

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "When you go into a negotiation you have to understand the position of the people you're negotiating with," the Chancellor said.

"It's no good just ignoring it and banging your head against a brick wall.

"You have got to understand what their red lines are as well so you can try and find a landing ground you can both accept, which means a deal gets done." 

Lizzy Buchan1 October 2018 09:27
Lizzy Buchan1 October 2018 09:49


Part of Philip Hammond’s speech will focus on investments in apprenticeships as he tries to offer a hand of friendship to business.

Here’s our preview:

Lizzy Buchan1 October 2018 10:09

Very funny pictures here of Boris Johnson on his morning run. Remember when Theresa May said running through a field of wheat was the "naughtiest thing" she'd ever done.

Lizzy Buchan1 October 2018 10:12

Speeches have started in the main conference hall and all eyes will be on which senior Tories could be showing off their leadership credentials.

Up this morning:

Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary

Chris Grayling, transport secretary

Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary

Greg Clark, business secretary

Philip Hammond, the chancellor

In the afternoon:

James Brokenshire, housing secretary

Michael Gove, environment secretary

Ruth Davidson, Scottish leader

Jeremy Wright, culture secretary

Lizzy Buchan1 October 2018 10:29

Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, is making a speech. He starts by appealing for unity, accepting that it is a "controversial subject" and "excites strong passions".

He says: "As someone who campaigned for Leave, not only do I respect the opinions of those who wanted us to remain in the EU. I'd go further.

"I think they made some important arguments and highlighted difficulties that some on my side were too quick to dismiss."

Raab admits the Brexit deal he is seeking isn't perfect nor everything he wanted - and he has had to make compromises.

Lizzy Buchan1 October 2018 10:36

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