Conservative event in Brussels ordered to shut down during Nigel Farage speech

Suella Braverman is due to to give a speech at NatCon alongside Europe’s far-right politicians including Viktor Orban

Nigel Farage

Police in Brussels moved to shut down a gathering of right-wing political figures in Europe two hours into the event, and midway through a speech by Nigel Farage.

The National Conservatism conference in Brussels was ordered to close down by Belgium police following a request served to the organisers, which they were not under obligation to sign, it was reported. Police moved into the event while Reform Party founder Farage was on stage, however they eventually left without enforcing a closure.

Two venues due to host the convention of hard-right political figures in Europe already pulled out last minute leading to a new change of venue for the conservative meeting which started today. 

Suella Braverman and Nigel Farage are among the keynote speakers at the NatCon conference, where they are due to share a platform with the far-right leader of Hungary Viktor Orban, known for his attacks on the LGBTQ+ community and minority groups. 

Initially due to take place at Concert Noble in Brussels, the venue announced last week it had pulled out from hosting the conference this Tuesday and Wednesday whilst the replacement venue Sofitel Brussels withdrew on Monday. The conference found a new last-minute venue at Claridge. 

Conservatives blamed the intervention of left-wing mayors in causing the venues to pull out, and police told organisers there was a risk of “public disorder”, before they informed them that they could terminate the event. 

Tory MP Miriam Cates was also added to the line-up of speakers. Cates was placed under investigation by the Parliament’s standards watchdog last December over claims she caused “significant damage to the reputation of the House as a whole, or of its members generally”, though exact reasons were not made known. 

Rishi Sunak had been urged to stop Braverman from speaking at the convention and rubbing shoulders with the controversial European figures. Labour’s shadow paymaster general, Jonathan Ashworth, called on the PM to take action before a UK MP took to the stage alongside figures with “damaging, divisive and offensive views”.

(Image credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

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