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Five things we learned at the Conservative conference

Wednesday’s key points in Birmingham.

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Prime Minister Theresa May dances her way in (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Prime Minister Theresa May dances her way in (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Prime Minister Theresa May dances her way in (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Five things we learned at the Conservatives’ annual conference in Birmingham on Wednesday October 3:

Theresa May embraced last year’s disastrous speech and her much-mocked dance moves.

From last year’s SOS speech, the Prime Minister evolved into a Dancing Queen as she surprised aides and her husband Philip when she shimmied on stage and told the Tories to Take A Chance on her.

Mrs May acknowledged last year’s disastrous conference address – joking that she had been up all night supergluing the backdrop to prevent letters falling off again, and made light of her infamous coughing fit.

– With housing a domestic policy priority for the Prime Minister, there were further moves to try to boost house-building.

Mrs May announced that councils will be given greater freedom to borrow to fund the construction of new homes.

The decision to scrap the borrowing cap is designed to ensure local authorities can make a bigger contribution.

– The Prime Minister displayed her personal and emotional side.

Mrs May gave a rare insight into her private life as she spoke openly about the death of her goddaughter from cancer last year.

She outlined plans to spare thousands of others the “pain of losing a loved one before their time” as she told the conference that her goddaughter had sent her a text last summer saying she hoped to see another Christmas, but did not make it.

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Theresa May and her husband Philip meet supporters after delivering her keynote speech (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Theresa May and her husband Philip meet supporters after delivering her keynote speech (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Theresa May and her husband Philip meet supporters after delivering her keynote speech (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

– She felt the need to attack Labour.

The Prime Minister showed the level of concern within her party over the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn being elected, making several attacks on the opposition – describing what had “befallen Labour” as a “national tragedy”.

And in a sign that Mr Corbyn’s party is seen as a real threat, Mrs May said it was the Conservatives’ “duty” to ensure he is not given the opportunity to run the country.

– Mrs May declared the age of austerity is over, a decade after the financial crash.

She said people’s hard work had “paid off”, leading to a decline in national debt for the first time in a generation.

And she announced plans to set out a programme of increased investment in public services, as a mark that the decade of cuts is coming to an end – but only after a Brexit deal is announced.

PA