The Liberal Democrats have announced that they will not be going ahead with their party conference later this month.
The death of Queen Elizabeth II last Thursday has led to a ten-day period of national mourning. A state funeral is to be held on Monday 19th September.
The Lib Dem conference was due to take place in Brighton between 17th and 20th September, clashing with both the state funeral and the period of national mourning.
It is now thought that the Lib Dems will hold an extended spring conference in York in March 2023.
In an email explaining the reasons for cancelling the event, the party said:
“As we mourn the loss of The Queen, we send our condolences to The King and the Royal Family. Given the date of the funeral and period of national mourning, we have decided to cancel our Autumn Conference.
We look forward to welcoming members to our next conference.”
The TUC conference had already been postponed. It was due to begin yesterday on the 11th September, but will now be rescheduled for a later date.
There is currently uncertainty over whether some other political events will be cancelled or rescheduled. The Labour party conference is currently believed to still be going ahead on the 25th September. The event is outside the official mourning period, with the royal family’s private royal mourning period ending on 26th September.
The Conservative party conference is scheduled to start on the 2nd October. It is currently also thought to be continuing as usual.
Aside from being an opportunity for members to meet, discuss policy, and champion their agendas, the annual political conferences are also an important revenue source for the UK’s political parties. The events typically sell sponsorship and exhibition space.
Parliamentary business has been cancelled for the forthcoming week. It has been suggested that parliament may now shorten its conference recess and sit for an extra week in mid-October. This has though yet to be confirmed.
After the period of official national mourning, it is though that new prime minister Liz Truss will also complete her ministerial reshuffle. Although her new government had been finalised at a Cabinet and Minister of State level, it is thought that prior to last Thursday, Truss had yet to finalise all appointments in junior levels of the government.