As it happenedended1507122604

Theresa May speech - as it happened: PM's speech overshadowed by protester handing over fake P45 and coughing fit

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Wednesday 04 October 2017 14:10
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Prankster delivers fake P45 to Theresa May during conference speech

Welcome to The Independent’s liveblog on the final day of the Conservative party conference.

It was supposed to be one of the most significant speeches of Theresa May's political career – her first address to the party faithful since gambling away the Conservatives’ majority at the snap election in June. But instead it was overshadowed by a series of unfortunate events. In one instance, a protestor breached security and handed the PM a P45 notice, claiming Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, had asked him to do so. Then she lost her voice on multiple occasions and part of the set - “a country that works for everyone” - fell apart.

While there were some significant policy announcements in the speech – notably on organ donation, mental health, and a new mission to build more homes in Britain – they will undoubtedly be largely absent from any commentary. It is likely to go down as one of the most painfully agonising political speeches to watch in recent history.

Simon Brodkin, a comedian who performs under the stage name Lee Nelson, was bundled into a security tent to shield him from the press before being cuffed and escorted out of the Manchester conference centre.

He made no comment to The Independent as security guards rushed him outside but earlier shouted: "Boris made me do it. He's left me in the lurch."

Around the same time he also tweeted: "Hi Boris Johnson, I gave Theresa her P45 just like you asked."

The Prime Minister's major speech descended into chaos when Mr Brodkin handed her the form, which gave its 'Reason for termination' as: "Neither strong or stable. We're a bit worried about Jezza." The prankster rose to fame after gate crashing a Fifa press conference and throwing dollar bills at the outgoing president Sepp Blatter.

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Welcome to The Independent's liveblog where we will be bringing you the latest updates from Theresa May's speech on the last day of the Conservative party conference in Manchester. 

Steve Anderson4 October 2017 09:03
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Kristin Hugo4 October 2017 10:12
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Stephen Canning, a former member of National Executive of the Conservative youth wing, writes for The Independent

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