Peter Hoskin

Tory manifesto launch - live blog

Tory manifesto launch - live blog
Text settings

Stay tuned for live coverage from 1100.

1238: And that's it. Phew - quite a marathon.  A strong central message, I think, but it could have been said in fewer words.  Thanks for tuning in.

1235: The Guardian's Nick Watt asks why the Tories aren't talking more about the extent, and the consequences, of spending cuts.  Cameron's response is that he has "always been frank" with the public.

1233: Key question on whether withdrawing the state will mean worse public services for folk.  Cameron says that he not looking to pull the rug from under people, but just to introduce choice and competition to counter the "dead, dull hand of the state."

1231: Cameron sounding quite passionate as has says the "country needs to come together" to sort out problems like crime and anti-social behaviour.  He gets a round of applause for his efforts.

1229: Cameron says that Labour are "doing their best to frighten people ... that's what government does when it's got nothing to give."

1226: Cameron returns to the message of his Big Society Day: that people are clamouring to take up the responsibilities the Tories are offering to then.

1223: "The people in this team..." - Cameron really is pushing his shadow Cabinet centre stage today.  As if on cue, he asks Michael Gove to help respond to a question.  Gove takes on Balls: "Ed thinks the only way to run a school is his way - we know that's wrong."

1221: Adam Boulton asks why the Tories are prioritising "the killing of foxes".  Cameron: "It's a piece of legislation that won't take much time ... we can give people a vote according to their consciences."

1219 The FT's Jean Eaglesham asks where the Tory policy on green taxation is.  Cameron tries to find it in the manifesto, but hands the job over to George Osborne.  He does say that he hopes to increase the share of taxation accounted for by green taxes, though.

1218: Cameron stresses that "we have to spend less ... but we actually have a way of getting more for less - the others don't think that is possible."

1216: Tom Bradby asks what the "driving force" behind Tory economic policy is.  Is it getting the deficit down?  Is it avoiding national insurance cuts?  Is it avoiding the path that Greece as stumbled down?  Cameron effectively says that it is all of them.  This is the first time he's really mentioned the deficit so far today. He hasn't said debt, natch.

1214: The Tory leader says that he hopes the audience won't be as hostile to the questions as Labour's crowd was yesterday.  A joke, but, I'm sure, an honest one.

1213: Cameron ends with a nod towards the "invitation" theme again: "accept our invitation, join us."  Questions now.

1212: Cameron's pitch is ambitious. He says that "If you vote Conservative, you're voting to change the entire system."

1212: Cameron: "Labour have failed. The Liberals have nothing to say."

1210: Punchy, if repetitive, stuff from Cameron: "Be your own boss. Sack your MP. Buy your own house. Start your own school."  There's a strong message of aspiration running below the surface of this.

Cameron: "The best way of restoring trust is to hand power back to the people."  He's now into the "cutting the cost of politics" section of the speech.  Labour and the Lib Dems sneered at this origianlly - saying that it wouldn't do anything to deal with the debt burden - but they've missed a trick, I think.

1206: Cameron references "the team" who had spoken before him.  The goal today is clearly to expand the public image of the Tory party.

1205: Cameron turns Labour's attacks back on them: "Labour say that the economy will collapse unless they keep wasting your money ... and then they will impose a job tax."  He adds: "Real growth will only come by encouraging business, jobs..."

1204: He keeps repeating the phrase "modern, progressive Conservative party."

1203: Everything in the manifesto is based on the philosphy of "trusting people," says Cameron.

1201: Cameron says that the 50p tax rate has got to stay because "we've got to show that we're all in this together".  Note how he didn't say that it's got to stay to help fill the fiscal blackhole...

Remembering that government is for and of the people will ensure that it can achieve "more for less," says Cameron.  He's rightly pushing the fiscal case for reform.

1159: Cameron: "We stand for society."  Expect to see that in tomorrow's papers.

1158: The Tory leader paints a picture of a self-obsessed Labour party, which is only concered by what it has done, and "measures success by how much money it spends".  Great message, but, as always, diluted by the Tories' own rhetoric on NHS spending.

Cameron says that his "invitation" is the answer to the question of how the government can do things when there's no money - involving people, etc.

Cameron's opening features the repeated phrase, "we will give you the power".  It's direct stuff.

1154: The Tory message is crystallising around this "invitation" theme.  Cameron says that "no government can do everything on its own ... so we'll give you the power".

1153: Cameron starts off by listing the films and TV programmes that have used Battersea Power Station as a location ... before getting to his punch line about Ashes to Ashes: "Fire up the power station, it's time for change."  The audience duly laughs and applauds.

And, at last, it's David Cameron.  Expect folk to pick up on the fact that Chris Grayling didn't talk - no mention of crime at all.

1150: Sayeeda Warsi now, on fixing broken politics.  Her main point: "I'm asking you not just to get angry, but to use that anger to help us change things."

And another video - this one from the promising candidate for Hammersmith, Shaun Bailey.  I'm all for the Tories demonstrating their strength in depth, and showing that they're not just David Cameron.  But it takes a while...

Good line from Spelman: "If we're elected on May 6th, you'll be in power on May 7th."  The Tories should use that one again.

And now it's Caroline Spelman on communities, planning, that kind of thing.  Her rhetoric is pretty strong: "We've been centralised into one of the most will-sapping ... countries in the world."  And she mentions some of the Tories' most encouraging policies, like publishing public spending records.

1141: Lansley says that the Tories will maintain an NHS which is free at the point of use, but that "that the NHS still needs to change".  He's treading a neat line between honouring the health service and describing it's limitations.  Predicatbly, though, he does mention that pledge to ringfence health spending.

Andrew Lansley: "The NHS will always be our biggest priority for government"

1138: A big photo of Cameron inside the manifesto cover.  It's not quite Blair on the cover of the Labour manifesto in 1997 - but the Tories are still making use of their leader.

1135: The Tories are now screening the family-focussed entry in their series of "I've never voted Conservative before, but..." videos.  It's taking a while to get to Cameron.

Michael Gove now, on expanding opportunity. The Tories are clearly trying to highlight their main priorities by who's speaking - the economy, welfare, schools, etc. But you can expect observers to read into who isn't speaking.

May is describing the Tories' welfare reform package - which is good policy, if not all that disimilar from the David Freud proposals slowly being implemented by the government.  The crucial catalyst for all this could be IDS's benefit reform package.

1130: And the next shadow cabinet member to take to the stand is ... Theresa May.  Here theme is, unsurprisingly, "getting Britain working again".

1128: A video now from a green entrepreneur.  He mentions the national insurance hike.

1126: Osborne highlights the Tories' 8 measures for judging whether the economy is getting back on track.

1124: It's Osborne now.  He starts by saying that the Big Question is: how do we get the economy moving?  He gets a round of applause by saying that, to that end, "we shouldn't put a tax on jobs".

Hague stresses the Tories' green credentials, saying that climate change is the "biggest threat to the planet" today.

1122: Hague gets onto the theme of the manifesto: "Yes, we need strong government ... but people have a vital role to play too."

1121: "This spirit can bring change to the country." This is a punchy intro from Hague.

1120: Hague continues, saying that four years ago the Tories "didn't look like the country we aspire to government.  Now, we have more women candidates, more black and Asian candidates..."  Already, the emphasis is on change.

1118: William Hague introduces Cameron on to the stage.  He says Battersea Power Station "is a great British landmark ripe for regeneration - just like the country."

1116: The soundtrack is running through every song that has "change" in it.  I expect we'll hear that word in Cameron's address...

Some shadow cabinet members will speak before Cameron - hopefully it won't drag on like Labour's launch did yesterday.

1112: Various frontbenchers, candidates and Tory types are gathering on the seats behind where David Cameron will speak.

1109: Here's a photo from James, who's on the ground in Battersea:

1107: You can read the Tory manifesto, and watch David Cameron's video introduction, here.  There are even audio downloads of each chapter.  Swish.

1105: In the meantime, let's ponder what it is with the Tories and big, brick buildings.  This morning's launch is in Battersea Power Station, but plenty of the party's events this year have featured exposed brickwork.

1103: You can watch live video of nothing here. Hopefully, the Tories should take to the stage soon.