Tory Brexiteer MP involved in 'misunderstanding' at party conference

PUBLISHED: 14:41 01 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:41 01 October 2019

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown in the House of Commons. Photograph: Parliament TV.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown in the House of Commons. Photograph: Parliament TV.

Archant

A senior Tory MP reportedly clashed with a delegate at the Conservative Party conference prompting a lockdown of part of the venue.

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Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown was said to be involved in what a doorman described as a "small misunderstanding" at the International Lounge in the conference centre.

It led to a lockdown of areas of the conference, including the press room, at the Manchester Central Convention Complex for around 20 minutes.

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

Police said an attendee - reportedly Clifton-Brown's wife - tried to enter the lounge alongside the MP without the relevant pass, leading security staff to intervene.

"It was a small misunderstanding," a staff member guarding the door of the lounge said.

Greater Manchester Police said in statement: "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."

The "misunderstanding" led to a lockdown of some areas, including the press room, at the Manchester Central Convention Centre for around 20 minutes.

A party spokesman said after that Clifton-Brown had been sent home.

They 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."

It comes as Boris Johnson spent the day disputing the suggestion his party had become too aggressive in its political stance, and moments before home secretary Priti Patel was due to speak on the Tories plans to get tougher on crime.

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