‘Heads must roll’: Tory chairman under fire after P45 prank mars May speech

Posted On: 
5th October 2017

Conservative chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin’s position is in question after a comedian got within feet of Theresa May during her key conference address yesterday. 

Tory chairman Sir Patrick McLoughlin
Credit: 
PA

A senior Conservative figure said “heads must roll” after Simon Brodkin interrupted the Prime Minister ten minutes into her address to Tory delegates, waving a P45 form in front of her and joking that "Boris told me give you this". 
 
Mr Brodkin, who has previously played pranks on the likes of Donald Trump and Fifa president Sepp Blatter, was led away from the Manchester venue in handcuffs after being arrested for breach of the peace.

 

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His antics have raised serious questions about Mrs May's security arrangements at such a high-profile event. 

A senior party source told the Daily Telegraph: "Heads must roll. Those responsible must walk the plank. 

"Where were her close protection? Nothing happened. I was appalled by that."

Earlier Sir Patrick had told the same paper: "It is being looked at. There will be an investigation into what happened.

"There will be an inquiry. I knew there was sufficient security around the Prime Minister."

The veteran MP had reportedly been planning to quit his post before the end of the year so there are now talks he could become the “fall guy”. 

A party source told The Times: “Patrick was due to go in a couple of weeks with the likelihood that Brandon Lewis [the immigration minister] would take over. It’s going to look like he’s been fired or is deserting her now.”

Justine Greening told the Daily Telegraph: "I was very surprised that somebody was able to get that close to the Prime Minister and also to the Foreign Secretary. I am sure people will want to look at exactly what happened.

"I don't know exactly what happened. I have no doubt people will want to look at what happened."

One Cabinet minister reportedly said it was unfair to blame Sir Patrick but other Tory MPs believe he should shoulder responsibility as security is at conference is part of his brief. 

A Downing St spokesperson added: "Greater Manchester Police have arrested a man for breach of the peace. We expect that there will be a thorough investigation into what happened."