A Tory MP reportedly clashed with a delegate at the Conservative Party conference this afternoon sparking a police lockdown of part of the venue.
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.
Greater Manchester Police released a statement saying that they were called when an ‘attendee’ attempted to enter the area without a ‘relevant pass.’
It led to a lockdown of areas of the conference, including the press room, at the Manchester Central Convention Complex for around 20 minutes.
One journalist at the conference said there had been an ‘actual punch up’ in a ‘secure zone.’
Officers were seen entering the ‘International Lounge’ of the Manchester conference centre and moving photographers and reporters away from the scene.
The Cotswolds MP, treasurer of the 1922 committee, the influential group of backbench Tory MPs, did not deny the reports, when questioned by reporters.
He said: ‘I’ve got nothing further to say about it. I don’t want to comment on it, really.’
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.
Event security members temporary block the access to one of the corridors at the Conservative Party annual conference
Police and conference staff deal with the security incident in the centre this afternoon
It is believed two women ran from the lounge and raised the alarm with police. The room was then closed off as officers entered.
The reported ‘scuffle’ comes just hours before Home Secretary Priti Patel is set to give a major speech on law and order, promising to crack down on criminals.
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.’