Labour to review conference security

Review of security arrangements
Review of security arrangements

The head of Labour's Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) has said that the Labour Party will be reviewing conference security following yesterday's disruption of Tony Blair's speech.

The position of the Countryside Alliance as a conference exhibitor will also be reviewed.

Margaret Wheeler told delegates at the opening of today's conference session that the CAC takes breaches of security "very seriously".

Referring to the protests that interrupted Tony Blair's speech on Tuesday afternoon, she appeared to confirm that the protestors were Labour Party members, referring to the actions as a "breach of trust on behalf of individuals concerned".

The Prime Minister was twice interrupted during his speech yesterday, firstly by a anti-war protestor just minutes into the speech, and then about 15 minutes later by a group of anti-hunt protestors who shouted at Mr Blair before being removed from the hall by stewards.

Ms Wheeler told delegates that these breaches will form a "major part" of the CAC's review meeting of the conference and would welcome submissions from delegates and visitors on security matters.

The position of the Countryside Alliance as an exhibitor at the conference is also to be reviewed. Ms Wheeler said that the decision to grant the protest group a stall in the first place had been "thought long and hard about".

Following the scenes of protest outside the conference yesterday, where a number of people were arrested after two animal carcasses were dumped in the town, a number of delegates called on the Countryside Alliance's accreditation to be withdrawn after the "disgraceful" scenes.

Ms Wheeler responded by saying that the CAC would be looking again at the decision to grant the Countryside Alliance a conference stall.