Breaking: The PM has just finished speaking. He appeared to concede that military action will be necessary to defeat Isil, and maintained the line that it is position that what is best for Britain is that it remains part of a "reformed EU".
Good morning. Benefits frozen for two years. £25 billion of cuts still to come in the next Parliament. Was George Osborne's speech yesterdaybold - or just reckless? Last night, opinions were divided. "Was that...good?" one Tory asked me last night.
You bet it was, our leader says. "At last, a politician who dares to tell the truth" is our take. The parliamentary party is less sanguine. An MP in a marginal seat grimly ticked off a list of voters who, he said, were now lost to him. Another tells the Times that it's "the end" of the Tories' working-class vote. "He's blown it," is their verdict.
The Chancellor's big bet is that the voters want honesty and clarity on when - and how - the books will be balanced, and that Labour has no stomach for that conversation. It underlines the surprisingly buoyant mood here in Birmingham. MPs and activists know that they have a fight ahead of them. They know that they are the underdogs, and many are uncertain of pulling it off next May. But they are, at least - dare I say it? - more intellectually self-confident that their opponents.
SEND FOR THE DOCTOR, QUICK QUICK QUICK
"Cameron promises seven-day GP cover" is our splash. The PM will outline plans to give everyone access to their family doctor by the end of the decade. "People need to be able to see their GP at a time that suits them and their family," Mr Cameron will say. But doctors say that they don't have enough staff to fulfil the demand and it will actually reduce patient choice. "If you move towards these 16-hour days, it will be less likely that your GP will be available at a time you can make," Dr Clare Gerada, head of the Royal College of GPs.
QUITTERS, SPLITTERS AND KIPPERS
Boris Johnson recalled a mid-1990s meeting with Nigel Farage during a star turn to the ConHome rally last night. "As is traditional in these cases, he pushed across the caviar and vodka that Moscow Central always use when they are trying to woo potential defectors." No, the Mayor of London responded, join us and we can rule the Galaxy as father and son. Or: "It is only if the great conservative family unites and we stop Ed Miliband" that the ideals that Mr Farage and Mr Johnson both share can be put into practice. Steve Swinford and Chris Hope have the story. DISRUPTION ORDERS
On the Today programme, the PM likened the last Labour government's approach to paying Combat 18 to radicalise the National Front. "It's all not okay," Mr Cameron says. Theresa May will announce further powers to disrupt the activities of jihadists, including restricting their broadcast appearances, including similar sanctions as that imposed on the IRA during the Troubles. Holly Watt has the details.
A WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS
An extra runway at Gatwick will deliver flights from London’s airports to 440 destinations - significantly more than expansion at Heathrow. This extra capacity will enable the UK to fly to more destinations. Greater competition will mean a better service (at all airports) and cheaper fares for passengers. Gatwick will offer great connections across the UK, good transport links and a new airport designed for smooth and enjoyable journeys.
"THIS WAS CAMERON'S BIG WAR"
The PM appeared to concede on the Today programme that intervention in Syria will be necessary if Isil is to be destroyed. General Sir David Richards' memoirs, Taking Command, begin their serialisation in the Times today. He recalls the PM's handling of the Libya conflict: "this was Cameron's big war. Understandably, he enjoyed the power and influence that came with it." At one point, the PM upbraided General Richards for a public statement about the legality of targeting Gaddafi personally. It was "along the lines of, 'You do the fighting, I'll do the talking."
DO IT ALL AGAIN
Surprising poll of the day: 53% of Conservative voters would prefer a second Coalition with the Liberal Democrats in the event of a hung parliament, against just 37% who would favour going it alone, according to a Survation poll for the Huffington Post. (An eccentric 2% of Conservatives favour a coalition between Labour and the Liberals to government by their own side.)
The Morning Briefing is written by Stephen Bush, who tweets as @stephenkb. Our cartoon is the work of Bob Moran; you can see his cartoons on his website.
POLL OF POLLS
Poll of polls 23rd to 3oth September (Opinium-Populus-YouGov)
Populus: Conservatives 34% Labour 36% Liberal Democrats 7% Ukip 14%
YouGov: Conservatives 31%, Labour 36%, Liberal Democrats 7%, Ukip 16%
TOO MANY TWEETS
@jennirsl: If polls were right, people & power wd've flocked to Lab conf. But Lab almost empty; Tories never so full. Straws in the wind?
From the Telegraph
Mary Riddell - Mr Osborne forgot something important in his speech
Iain Martin - Scotland is finally ready for a Tory revival
Janan Ganesh - Britain's next election carries a winner's curse (FT)Rachel Sylvester - Two tribes struggle with toxic reputations (Times)
1030 BIRMINGHAM: Theresa May speech to Conservative Party Conference, Boris Johnson to follow.
1430 BIRMINGHAM: Nicky Morgan speech to Conservative Party Conference, Jeremy Hunt to follow.