Ed Davey heckled at Lib Dem Conference over party’s Brexit stance

Disquiet over the Lib Dems' position on rejoining the EU

Ed Davey speaking at Liberal Democrat conference

The Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey was heckled at his own party’s autumn conference this afternoon in Bournemouth. An attendee shouted from the floor following his response to a question on Brexit at a question and answer session with the leader.

Davey had been setting out his party’s position on the impact of Brexit. He told attendees that the Liberal Democrats “are the most pro-European party in British politics” and said that his party “want Britain back at the heart of Europe”.

However, Davey stopped short of saying that the Liberal Democrats would take a position that Britain should rejoin the EU. Instead, he said that Britain should have “good relations with our European neighbours and friends”, saying this is “so important to our economy, so important to our environment, so important to our security and tackling crime”. He added, “It’s in Britain’s national interest […] to work with our European partners in a way we’ve championed for so long.”

After Davey concluded his remarks, however, there was a small amount of disquiet among the audience. One person shouted from the floor to query the Liberal Democrats’ stance on rejoining the EU.

Davey responded by saying: “We’re campaigning hard on Europe as you know my friend.” In response to that, another audience member shouted: “No you’re not!”

The session’s chair then quickly moved the session on to another question, and there were no further disturbances.

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward

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