7 highlights from the Conservative Party conference

Theresa May

This week the Conservatives headed to Manchester. Here’s a round-up of the party conference.

1. Theresa May’s coughing

One of the big moments of the four-day period was that during the close-of-conference speech on Wednesday, Theresa May was interrupted on several occasions by her own throat, as reported by the BBC. Nonetheless, she pulled through and reached the end of her speech after fighting with her cough.

2. The “P45” moment

For people who say that party political conferences are boring, the P45 moment shows that they can be anything but. A man, later revealed to be comedian and serial prankster Simon Brodkin managed to get right up to May and hand her a P45.

3. Boris’ lion

With Boris Johnson being seen as someone who could take over the party in the near future, the media played plenty of attention to his speech. There was nothing revolutionary about much of its contents, but one line caught the attention of the media.

In a typically Boris-style speech, the foreign secretary had a go at Jeremy Corbyn and called on Britain to let its “lion roar”.

4. Philip Hammond’s “joke”

In a speech on Monday, the usually dry, serious chancellor began his speech with the worst of jokes:

“What a privilege it is to be here in Manchester City, but all of us United.”

The football joke was met with a steady mixture of groans and laughter from the audience.

5.Ruth Davidson’s appearance

June’s election was a set-back for the Conservatives, but the party’s Scottish component made a steady advance. Scottish leader Ruth Davidson was met with storming applause and cheers at the start of her speech.

Like Hammond, she opened with a joke, saying:

“Thanks conference, it’s great to be back here in Manchester, or as I like to call it: the southern powerhouse.”

6. The council homes announcement

However, it wasn’t all coughing and laughter. There were some serious policy announcement.

During her speech, the prime minister unveiled an ambitious plan to boost Britain’s housing supply by building £2bn worth of new social housing, as reported by the BBC.

Theresa May PM May's plan to rip up human rights law

7. Energy price caps

After some silence, the Conservatives’ plan to cap energy prices raised its head in Manchester.

The prime minister declared that the issue of sky-high energy costs needed to be addressed. The BBC reported that she said:

"The energy market punishes loyalty with higher prices, and the most loyal customers are often those with lower incomes, the elderly, people with lower qualifications and people who rent their homes”