The 2018 Conservative Party Conference

By Charlotte King

The annual Conservative Party Conference took place last week. Here are the most noteworthy moments and comments.

From day one, Brexit dominated the conference. Boris Johnson calling the Chequers Plan “deranged” and “preposterous” was met with a wave of support for May from chancellors and the PM herself, stating her Brexit plan is “the only plan that delivers”.

The PM announced plans to impose a levy on foreign nationals buying a home in the UK; a stamp duty surcharge of 1-3% will be introduced for those not paying UK tax, making it more affordable for UK nationals to buy a home.

However, the most notable aspect of day one was the security breach. The party app used to coordinate proceedings allowed users to access the personal information of attendees and MPs, including cabinet ministers.

Day two of the conference kicked off with Chancellor Phillip Hammond backing May, claiming that Johnson is “incapable of grown-up politics”. However, Dominic Raab hinted that May’s Brexit plan is not ideal and we must compromise with the EU.

Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, insisted we must do more to “preserve our world”, unveiling plans for a project to cut the 100,000 tonnes of edible food waste thrown away annually. We must be “cleaner, greener and stronger”, he says.

Finally, Ruth Davidson declared we all should stand behind May and her Brexit plan, because “we can agree a Brexit deal under the Conservatives, or we can risk handing the keys of Downing Street to Jeremy Corbyn”.

On the third day, Johnson told the PM to “chuck Chequers” leaving her feeling “cross and frustrated”. Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP, expressed she will not support May because Northern Ireland will not become a “semi-detached” part of the UK.

Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, outlined his own visions for Brexit and proposed taking a firm stance on immigration. Is this the start of yet another leadership pitch?

On the final day of the conference, the PM announced plans to strive for the earlier detection of cancer. There was no mention of Chequers, but instead May addressed the prospect of a Labour government, proposing the party must unite to stay in power.

Ultimately, the conference was dominated by Brexit for the most part, but concluded with Theresa May uniting the Conservative Party, stating they are “a party not for the few, not even for the many but for everyone who is willing to work hard and do their best”. Their “best days lie ahead”.

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