Politics

Tory conference room locked down as police called to ‘row involving Tory MP’

Part of the Conservative Party conference was placed on lockdown today as police were called to an incident that is said to have involved a Tory MP.

People were barred from entering the International Lounge in Manchester after officers said someone tried to enter without the right pass.

Press were also barred from entering or leaving the media room at the conference, which is separated from the International Lounge by a large stage curtain.

Multiple reports suggest the incident involved the MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Treasurer of the Tories' backbench 1922 Committee.

The exact nature of any involvement was not known, but he was said to be involved in what a doorman described as a "small misunderstanding".

The Cotswolds MP did not deny the reports. He told PA news agency: "I've got nothing further to say about it. I don't want to comment on it, really."

The incident came on 'law and order' day at the Tory conference just before a speech by the Home Secretary.

Sources said the incident at the Manchester Central Convention Complex, which began before 2pm, was over by around 2.15pm.

A Mirror reporter on the scene was told no one was harmed but that: "Someone did something stupid".

A staff member guarding the door of the lounge said the incident was sparked by a disagreement.

"It was a small misunderstanding," the man said.

In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said: "At around 1.45pm on Tuesday 1 October 2019, an attendee to the Conservative Party Conference attempted to enter the International Lounge area of the conference without the relevant pass.

"Security staff intervened and resolved the situation without any breach of security occurring." 

Tory MP Andrew Rosindell emerged from the lounge and said he had no idea what the incident was.

He told reporters: “I’ve been there for two hours. I didn’t see anything and I don’t really know what this is about. I honestly don’t know.

“I think it was a false alarm – I didn’t see everything.

“Everyone is having tea and cake and chatting around tables. There’s been no incident, honestly.”

Asked about police being called to the room he added: “I saw them talking but they were just chatting. There was no running around.”

Despite his comments staff were still holding back members of the press. Blinds in a corridor in the Complex, looking down on the press room, were pulled down as reporters and camera-operators watched on.

Did you see the incident? Email webnews@trinitymirror.com

It comes after a dramatic day at major political landmarks. 

This morning a man was arrested outside the Houses of Parliament after allegedly pouring a petrol like substance on himself.

A huge police response was triggered after the unidentified person who had a lighter doused themselves in liquid, MP Huw Merriman tweeted.

Our reporter at the scene said police held a person up against a wall next to Carriage Gates in the moments after the dousing.


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