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Sunday, 21 September 2008

Walking the line...

In a tucked away room of a huge empty building, an hour before anything else at the Labour conference began, Nottingham North MP Graham Allen attended a meeting.

It was set up to discuss the Early Intervention projects, helping families and young people with social problems, which the MP has pioneered.

The intent was admirable and the discussion meaningful, but the meeting was odd for two reasons.

Firstly because at the front of the room former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith sat to the left of Guardian journalist Patrick Wintour - we'll never see that again.

Secondly because Iain Duncan Smith was there at all, remember whose conference this is.

This is an event where Labour is desperately trying to define the dividing lines between itself and the Tories.

It seems an issue like this which has won cross party support, hence the presence of Duncan Smith, is not something the event organisers want to draw too much attention to.

Joseph Watts
Parliamentary Correspondent

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