Political news

Prankster held over PM's P45 stunt had legitimate accreditation, say police

 Comedian Simon Brodkin, also known as Lee Nelson confronts Prime Minister Theresa May during her keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference at the Manchester Central Convention Complex in Manchester.  Peter Byrne/PA Wire
David Hughes and Sam Lister, Press Association Political Staff


A serial prankster arrested after handing Theresa May a P45 unemployment notice had legitimate accreditation, police said.

Comic Lee Nelson - real name Simon Brodkin - joked that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had asked him to perform the stunt during the Prime Minister's keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference.

The prank raised security questions, with a senior Tory suggesting the perpetrator could have been a terrorist.

Guidance on the Tory conference website said all attendees must have approval from the party and are accredited by Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

GMP Chief Superintendent John O'Hare said: "Earlier today a man was detained by conference security during the Prime Minister's speech.

"Officers attended and the man was arrested to prevent a breach of the peace and was released a short time later.

"The man had legitimate accreditation which granted him access to the conference site.

"In light of this we will be reviewing the accreditation process with the Conservative Party.

"Even with accreditation, everyone at the conference goes through airport-style searches before being allowed entry to the site."

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