Our senior reporter recovers from a mystery bug and brushes shoulders with Labour party members

After dragging myself into the office yesterday for press day, I take a day off to recover from the mystery bug that has had Insurance Times staff dropping like flies.

I start a couple of articles for Insurance Times. We break the news that Gibraltarian insurer Lemma has stopped paying claims, proving many suspicious brokers right. Market sources say the insurer could go into liquidation on Friday.

I’m in the office at 6.15am to cover the Office of Fair Trading’s decision to refer the private motor market to the Competition Commission. I feel temporarily smug about being so early, before realising that Insurance Times executive editor Saxon East is already there. As expected, Lemma goes into liquidation.

I travel up North for the Labour Party conference, held in Manchester Central, in which the Biba conference was held earlier this year. It is safe to say the insurance stands outshined the Labour ones, and the Biba event had better freebies.

I cover an evening session on Labour’s vision for financial services, and hear tough talk from two Labour top brass.

I cover a session on rebuilding trust after the PPI scandal. The conference is now packed, mainly with men wearing red ties. I join some fellow hacks in the cavernous press hall, and write a story on the PPI discussion, then sit in on an event on reducing young driver premiums, featuring Jack Straw, the ABI’s Otto Thoresen and Huw Evans.

I head back down to London to help the team on press day.