FROM THE CONFERENCE: Lib Dems getting ready to fight them on the beaches

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron holds a stamp featuring David Lloyd George during his wa

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron holds a stamp featuring David Lloyd George during his walkabout at the Liberal Democrats annual conference, Bournemouth International Centre. Ben Birchall/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Liberal Democrats started their day with a litter pick on Bournemouth beach. The potential for analogies was not lost.

We'll fight them on the beaches, one Lib Dem said.

The less kind made utterances about clearing up the mess of electoral annihilation.

But gone is the responsibility of power.

There were far less suits and troubled looking MPs.


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Those who once trawled the corridors of Westminster were skipping down the corridors of the Bournemouth International Centre looking 10 years younger freed from the shackles of mounds of constituency work and long hours away from home.

But amid the jubilations, there were serious discussions.

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Should the Lib Dem slogan advocate a more equal economy? How many expensive policies could they advocate now they are in opposition?

Leader Tim Farron bounded across the stage to tell activists he was not a home-wrecker for Labour, before advocating an open door policy for disillusioned reds.

And in a sort of therapy-style session he sympathised with a 15-year-old who told hundreds of fellow Lib Dems he was the only political nerds in his politics class.

Members nodded in agreement.

But the biggest revelation of the day came when the leader revealed that the person he would most like to meet in the world was his teenage pin-up Wendy Smith from 1980s band Prefab Sprout. Mr Farron revealed that in a bid to match leadership rival Norman Lamb's superstar endorsement from Dappy, he had contacted the singer to ask for her support. Far from a Lib Dem wake, it was back to the good old days.

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