Suella Braverman today joked it was ‘audition day for the shadow cabinet’ as Extinction Rebellion protesters interrupted her speech to a Westminster conference.
The Home Secretary’s address to the National Conservatism event this afternoon was halted by two eco-activists.
To applause from the audience at London’s Emmanuel Centre, one man was led out of the venue for heckling Mrs Braverman.
But that applause quickly led to jeers when – just moments later – a woman also stood up to interject, before she herself was escorted away.
‘Anyone else?,’ asked the Home Secretary. She then quipped: ‘It’s audition day for the shadow cabinet.’
The incident came just hours after a speech by ex-Cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg had also been interrupted by an eco-demonstrator who invaded the stage.
Extinction Rebellion boasted their members had ‘infiltrated’ the National Conservatism conference to ‘call out the fascist ideologies supported by senior Cabinet ministers and MPs’.
The Home Secretary’s address to a National Conservatism event this afternoon was halted by two eco-activists
To applause from the audience at London’s Emmanuel Centre, the demonstrators were led out of the venue for heckling Suella Braverman
The Home Secretary joked it was ‘audition day for the shadow cabinet’ as Extinction Rebellion protesters interrupted her speech to the Westminster conference
They claimed their members had ‘secretly entered’ the venue to highlight ‘increasingly dangerous rhetoric from senior political figures’.
‘Peaceful protesters worked inside and outside the conference at the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster, to appeal directly to conference attendees and the public on the warning signs of fascism,’ the group added.
Mr Rees-Mogg was this morning forced to deal with an eco-activist jibing about ‘fascism’ as he invaded the stage.
The former business secretary’s address was interrupted by the Extinction Rebellion demonstrator shortly after he began speaking this morning.
The man, dressed in a shirt, tie and blazer, joined Mr Rees-Mogg at the lectern and told the audience: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, you all look very nice people and I’m sure you are fantastically nice people.
‘But I would like to draw your attention to a few characteristics of fascism.’
At this point, Mr Rees-Mogg then covered the microphone in front of him and the protester was bundled off stage by men in suits as the audience booed.
Jacob Rees-Mogg was forced to deal with a stage invader jibing about ‘fascism’ during his speech to the National Conservatism conference in Westminster
The man, dressed in a shirt, tie and blazer, joined Mr Rees-Mogg at the lectern and told the audience: ‘I would like to draw your attention to a few characteristics of fascism.’
One person shouted as the man was led away: ‘Get back to work!’
Mr Rees-Mogg is among a number of speakers on the Right of the Conservative Party who are appearing at the three-day National Conservatism conference.
He quickly shrugged off the interruption, telling the event at London’s Emmanuel Centre: ‘Well there we go, our jolly good fellow has had to leave.
‘We believe in freedom of speech, so he can have his national loonies conference next week and he can see how many people he gets to come along.’
One of the Extinction Rebellion protestors, who managed to get through security into today’s conference, said: ‘National Conservatism says it wants people to bind together over national identity to let them flourish but we’ve heard our politicians and seen their policies.
‘We know they let rich people get richer with obscene corporate dividends while our waters are filled with sewage and our NHS is underfunded.
‘They scapegoat the voiceless when they should be tackling the climate emergency that spells immediate disaster to millions of people and animals.’
After the interruption, Mr Rees-Mogg used the rest of his address to continue his attack on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for scaling back plans to scrap thousands of leftover EU laws by the end of this year.
The former Cabinet minister claimed the repeal so far of retained Brussels legislation was ‘pathetically under-ambitious’.
He branded it ‘very unfortunate’ that Mr Sunak had breached a pledge to scrub all remaining EU laws from the UK’s statute book by the end of December.
‘The surrender to the blob risks exposing the Government to ridicule,’ he added.
He was then bundled off the stage by men in suits as the audience booed, with one shouting: ‘Get back to work!’
In his speech the former business secretary appeared to lash out at the Government’s introduction of voter ID for this year’s local elections in England
Extinction Rebellion boasted on their Twitter account that they had ‘disrupted’ the conference by ‘calling out the fascist ideologies of senior Cabinet members and MPs’
Mr Rees-Mogg also appeared to lash out at the Government’s introduction of voter ID for this year’s local elections in England.
‘Parties that try and gerrymander end up finding their clever scheme comes back to bite them, as dare I say we found by insisting on voter ID for elections,’ he said.
‘We found the people who didn’t have ID were elderly and they by and large voted Conservative, so we made it hard for our own voters and we upset a system that worked perfectly well.’
It comes after Labour’s plans to give millions of EU nationals, as well as 16 and 17-year-olds, a vote in UK general elections were revealed.
Tories have accused Sir Keir Starmer of ‘laying the groundwork for a referendum to rejoin the EU’ with his proposal to significantly wider the voting franchise.
As a minister, Mr Rees-Mogg defended the introduction of voter ID in Parliament.