Tories cancel party conference due to coronavirus pandemic

Prime mnister Boris Johnson speaking at a press conference on the election trail. Photograph: Domini

Prime mnister Boris Johnson speaking at a press conference on the election trail. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA. - Credit: PA

The Tories have followed Labour and the Lib Dems in cancelling their party conference this year.

Party chairman Amanda Milling announced the decision and said that the Tories' 'first priority is for the health and safety of members, delegates and attendees'.

She said that the event, which was scheduled to take place in the first week of October in Birmingham, will now be moved online.

'We know that many people will be disappointed,' she added.

But in an e-mail she said she proposed a new calendar of events would include 'some elements of the traditional party conference we all know and love' if it adheres to government guidelines.

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The lack of conferences this year could have a knock-on impact on the standings of political leaders.

Both Labour and Lib Dems would have hoped to showcase their leader and make new policy announcement to garner headlines, while the Tories will have wanted conference to be an opportunity to move on from the coronavirus crisis, if the country manages to avoid a second peak.

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