Conservative Party Conference Day 1
Tory Conference Day 1
Conservative Party Conference got underway yesterday here in Birmingham. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Consider these blogs over the next few days as a conference diary - littered with little interesting tidbits here and there.
The train up yesterday was nothing special apart from overhearing a journalist describe Tim Loughton MP as "not a very nice man".
It was clear from arriving at the conference that this year will be much more subdued. Key activists and party members are present, but for the most part the venue and surrounding hotels seem like a ghost town in comparison to previous years. Even the G4S guards (no, they didn't have to call the army in) have remarked upon how 'dead it is' here.
It's all apropos of nothing though really. It matters little how many people are here. The media don't tend to report on things like that.
It'll all come down to Cameron's speech on Wednesday, which we'll be live tweeting. You can read my analysis of how this might play out here.
Noteworthy events from last night include the Conservative Way Forward Midnight reception, which had people queuing for about half an hour to get in, and The Commentator also hears that one of our regular writers, Alexandra Swann, has been denied entrance to conference despite her being billed to speak at an event.
Unconfirmed at the moment but we'll find out later. Curious that the Tories don't want any UKIP debate going on here. Those kind of open and honest conversations are all that can save them right now, as this man will tell you.
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