Theresa May interrupted by man trying to give her P45
Sorry for Election Campaign-May
Theresa May speech LIVE: ‘We’re LEAVING’ May orders Cabinet GET ON with Brexit – OUR DUTY
THERESA May will issue a Brexit warning in her Conservative party conference speech this morning, telling her cabinet – and the public – it is time to get on with leaving the European Union (EU).
PM’s cough ‘made her come across as very human’
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt tells Sky News: “Despite that nagging cough, which I’m sure made her come across as very human – in fairness, in not quite the way she’s planned it – there was some really policy substance.”
Most party conferences speeches, even those that deemed a success on the day, are quickly forgotten. This one will remembered for the rest of May’s career. As her voice continually gave way, it was excruciating to watch and at one point it look is if she would have to give up. The start of May’s speech was strong, and she responded to the (rather puerile) protest from Simon Brodkin with a good, confident ad lib, but after that her voice sabotaged the rest of the speech. It is often overlooked how physically demanding politics is at the very top: endless early mornings, late nights, demanding schedules, and a job where you can’t pull a sickie. May boasts that she is someone who doesn’t give up, and she proved it today as she limped to the end of her speech. But it is hard – no, impossible – not to see this, at least to an extent, as a metaphor for premiership that is struggling and running out of things to say.
That is particularly harsh for May because, for once, she did have something to tell us. The first 15 minutes or so, as she talked about the election, and her grandmother who was in service, was good. She managed just about the right mix of determination and contrition and, although the “British dream” is a hackneyed theme, she personalised it well.
In policy terms, there were two significant announcements: on house building and on an energy price cap. Both could have come straight out of an Ed Miliband speech, and in this respect the speech confirms that it is Labour that is setting the agenda. The housing announcement does not seem to live up to the billing it received overnight in the Sun, and we have had little detail on the energy price cap plan so far, and so the speech does not really fill the policy gap in the Conservative party’s domestic policy agenda (see 10.47am). But it is a move in the right direction.
Theresa May called for unity and positivity during her keynote speech at Manchester Central, which brings an end to the Tory conference.She also announced several new policies, including a push to build new council homes amid a national housing crisis.In a clear attempt to outflank Jeremy Corbyn on an issue which has been central to Labour’s appeal to young voters, Mrs May made housing a central feature of a speech in which she will also call on Tories to stop infighting.At the end of a four-day gathering dominated by speculation over a possible bid by Boris Johnson to replace her, she also told Tories it is time to “shape up” and focus on working for voters rather than obsessing about the leadership.
However, the speech was interupted by a number of unforseen issues including a prankster who handed her a P45, a coughing fit from the PM and the slow collapse of the set design behind her.
1.00pm: That’s that, then. Mrs May hugs her husband Philip, waves to the crowd and leaves. Thanks for following with us, it was certainly eventful.
12.51pm: She’s done – hopefully a hot milk and honey is on its way.
Mrs May concluded: “It has never been my style to hide from a challenge, to shrink from a task, to retreat in the face of difficulty, to give up and turn away.
“And it is when tested the most that we reach deep within ourselves and find that our capacity to rise to the challenge before us may well be limitless.That is the story of our party. That is the story of our country. And that is the resolve and determination we need as we turn to face the future today.
“So let us go forward together. Let us fulfil our duty to Britain. Let us renew the British dream.”