Police Called to Incident at Tory Conference

The police had to be called to the Tory Conference’s international stand roughly twenty minutes ago to investigate a supposed fracas. Video shows officers entering the lounge and then moving press and onlookers away from the incident.

A Norwegian MP inside the stall informed Guido that no internationals were permitted to leave the lounge and the police had had to be called over a “misunderstanding”, however there are rumours there was a fight.  Developing…

UPDATE: Reports that the fracas involved 1922 Committee member, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP…

The Manchester Police released the following statement:

UPDATE II: Clifton-Brown has now been booted out of Tory conference pending further investigation. Not exactly the headlines CCHQ were hoping for on ‘law and order day’…

Raab Backer is Conflicted Claim Rivals

The Conservative Party Board met yesterday afternoon to approve the new leadership contest rules and decided to appoint one of the few MPs on the Board, Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown, as the election’s Accounting Officer, who will be in charge of checking election spending. This is despite, according to rival campaigns, Clifton Brown being a heavily involved core member of Team Raab. He was one of the three knights of the shire who backed Raab from the off; Sir Henry Bellingham, Sir Hugo Swire, and Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown. All three are said to be expecting to finally reach ministerial heights under PM Raab. Guido hears Clifton Brown failed to declare his interest during the meeting…

Other campaigns are moaning about it. None have made a formal complaint.

1922 Committee Ultimatum Shifts to Next Week

Yesterday’s 1922 Executive Committee meeting was touted as significant but members failed to decide to initiate moves against the Prime Minister this week. Brexiteer sources close to the committee, scarred from their experience in December, tell Guido that they are hesitant to rush into a leadership challenge again until they are sure they could win it.

One said that they want to wait to “inflict maximum pain” so more of the Parliamentary Party wakes up to the urgency of dislodging the Prime Minister. With another WA vote now seemingly taking place within the next two weeks, the European Elections, and the Peterborough by election on the horizon, a source told Guido that “it’s only going to get worse”…

The Prime Minister will meet the committee next week, likely on Tuesday or Wednesday where they hope she will present a more comprehensive exit plan than her current refrain of seeing the first phase of negotiations through. Some are more optimistic than others that this will materialise…

Meanwhile the balance of power on the committee appears to be shifting against the Prime Minister, with previous waverer Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown this morning definitively saying it’s time for May to go.

Other executive members Cheryl Gillan and Kemi Badenoch (who is also a party vice chair) are thought to still be on the fence. Guido looks forward to next week’s showdown…

May To Face Brady Ultimatum Today

It’s not just Labour-Tory talks that kick off again today. Guido hears that Graham Brady will meet with the Prime Minister today to in effect offer her an ultimatum, announce a timetable for her departure or his 1922 Executive Committee will change the rules to allow another confidence vote for the parliamentary party.

The 1922 Executive were finely balanced in terms of those who want to change the rules and those who don’t. Guido understands that two crucial MPs who were against a change in the rules two weeks ago could now swing the vote in favour of change: Cheryl Gillan, and Geoffrey Clifton-Brown. Sources close to the committee are adamant that their patience with May is running out…

Meanwhile grassroots Tory members will hold a non-binding no confidence vote in the Prime Minister on Saturday June 15, which is likely to go against her. ConservativeHome found that 82% of members want her gone as soon as possible. Tick tock…

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Quote of the Day

Peter Mandelson tells Emma Barnett…

“I think that Jeremy Corbyn himself should search his conscience and ask himself whether he’s the best person to lead the Labour Party into the general election with the best chance of success for the party.”

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