Luciana Berger: Labour Party Conference 2012 diary - day one
After a fantastic week in Liverpool 12 months ago, this week Labour Party conference is in Manchester, where two years ago Ed Miliband was elected leader. The opening day of conference is always one of excitement and anticipation as the whole Party looks forward to a week of debate, discussion and speeches from members, trade unions and our shadow ministers.
The focus of conference this year will be to show how Labour would rebuild Britain and our economy so that it works for working people, not just a few at the top. This is particularly important for Liverpool which has been hit disproportionately hard by Tory/Lib Dem cuts and government policies that are hurting the most vulnerable.
My week started yesterday with National Women's Conference, which heard keynote addresses from Deputy Leader Harriet Harman, and Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper who highlighted how women are bearing the brunt of the coalition's policies twice as much as men. I was delighted to see a number of delegates in attendance from our growing Liverpool Labour Women's Network, helping ensure that the issues that affect women in Liverpool remain at the heart of Labour policy.
Today I joined a lunch hosted by Foodcycle, a fantastic social enterprise which collects and distributes food which would otherwise be thrown away by shops and supermarkets. They are doing fantastic work across the country, including in Liverpool. I'm looking forward to working with the organisation to tackle food poverty, a shameful reality for too many people across the country.
Following lunch I dropped into the North West delegates' reception to say hello to Labour party members from Liverpool and across Merseyside, many of whom are hoping to speak to conference about the issues that are really affecting our region.
The main event in the conference hall tomorrow will be Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls' speech. I'm looking forward to listening to him set out how Labour will meet the massive challenges facing the economy in response to the Government's failure to deliver jobs and growth.
I'm writing this while I'm waiting to speak at my first fringe event of conference, a debate co-ordinated by the Five Million Votes campaign on the vital issue of how politicians and the Labour Party in particular can reconnect with the public. I'll let you know how it goes in my update tomorrow. If you want to hear even more about conference then you can follow my tweets on twitter using the link below.
Luciana Berger is Labour & Co-operative MP for Liverpool Wavertree and Shadow Minister for Climate Change. Visit her website HERE and she tweets @lucianaberger.