Theresa May apologises as conference speech interrupted when she loses her voice after several minutes of coughing

Wednesday 04 October 2017 13:29
Theresa May's speech breaks down due to coughing fit

Theresa May's conference speech teetered on the brink of disaster, as she repeatedly spluttered and coughed and lost her voice - forcing her to apologise.

For many agonising minutes, the Prime Minister rasped and reached for her glass of water as she desperately tried to revive her voice in front of a live TV audience of many millions.

She received a standing ovation and cheers from the Tory faithful, which did it best to help her recover and get her speech back on track.

And - after Philip Hammond appeared to hand her a cough sweet - Ms May quipped: "I hope you noticed that conference - the Chancellor giving something way for free."

Nevertheless, the embarrassing episode - echoing Iain Duncan Smith's notorious "frog in throat" problems - is certain to increase speculation that the Prime Minister's job is under threat.

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