Tory conference aims to cash in on that Miliband deficit gaffe

Kate McCann
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THE CONSERVATIVES will use their annual conference in Birmingham this week to play up the party’s economic credibility following a speech by Labour leader Ed Miliband in which he forgot to mention the deficit.

Kicking off in Birmingham on Sunday, all eyes will be on key Tory figures including David Cameron, George Osborne and Theresa May, as the party seeks to use the four day event as a platform to shore up its reputation as the safest pair on hands on the economy. A “crowd pleasing” announcement is also on the cards.

City of London MP Mark Field told City A.M. the party will have “a laser-like focus on its economic offering”, adding: “There will be a temptation to focus on constitutional issues and immigration but we’ve got to focus on the economy because that's our selling point.

“We need to focus on what we’ve achieved but also make the case that we can’t let the things go back to square one. The recovery has been a lot slower than we hoped and getting the deficit down has been slow, but it’s important now that the fruits go to the widest ring of people possible.”

A Conservative source said the party expects a buoyant conference, following on from Labour’s event in Manchester which left some of the party faithful disappointed. Miliband admitted that he had forgotten to give key chunks of the speech, telling the BBC that some of what he’d planned to say got “left out” .