Oops. The Conservative party is meant to be focusing on law and order today at its party conference, with Home Secretary Priti Patel taking to the stage to announce new money for tackling country-lines drug gangs and a new fund for the roll-out of tasers among the police.
But only metres away from the main stage, one MP was getting in hot water with security staff. This afternoon, the press area of the conference venue was briefly shut down after police were called to deal with an altercation in the International Lounge. It is believed that the Tory MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown clashed with staff when he tried to enter the closed-off area, and police were called to settle the dispute. Clifton-Brown was then asked to leave the conference.
A Conservative spokesman said:
‘The incident was totally unacceptable. Geoffrey has been asked to leave Conference and we are establishing all of the facts to see if further action is necessary.
We will always adopt a zero tolerance approach to any inappropriate behaviour towards our hardworking staff.’
In a statement the MP said:
‘This was a minor verbal misunderstanding. The police have not contacted me at all. I am mortified that something so minor seems to have been blown out of all proportion and if anyone has been offended, I apologise unreservedly. I will cooperate with the Party in any investigation.’