Activist expelled from Tory party conference for ‘attacking woman in hotel bar’

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

A male activist has been expelled from the Conservative Party conference for allegedly assaulting a woman at a bar.

Tory party officials confirmed they are working with the police after energy director Clementine Cowton, 33, told a fringe talk she had been “violently assaulted” while attending the conference in Manchester.

Ms Cowton, director of external affairs at Octopus Energy Group, said she was in the bar of The Midland Hotel - one of the main destinations at the political gathering - when an inebriated man sat in a seat next to her.

Police confirmed they were called to reports of an assault on a woman at the hotel at 12:30am on Monday morning.

The man, who she described as in his 30s, made her so uncomfortable she asked him “several times politely to leave”, The Times reported.

When he refused to go, Ms Cowton alleged she took his phone and dropped it on the floor in a bid to make him move.

“He went to retrieve it and then he came back and attacked me,” Ms Cowton said.

She claimed the unnamed man, who has since had his conference pass revoked, then tried to punch her but was held back by others guests in the bar.

However, the alleged scuffle ended up with her glass being smashed.

When approached by reporters, Ms Cowton said she was not intending to say more about the incident.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: “This behaviour is completely unacceptable and the party has revoked the pass of the individual concerned and is working with the police.”

The party later said it had suspended the Tory member following the reported clash.

Ms Cowton has also been contacted to offer support, the Tories said.

Ms Cowton said she spoke out about what allegedly happened to her because she wanted to emphasise “women are often unsafe in places where other people feel safe”.

In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said: “Police responded to an incident at the Midland Hotel at around 12:30am this morning to reports of an assault on a 33-year-old woman.

“Officers arrived quickly, there were no reports of any injures and no arrests were made. However a man has been identified, (and) had his accreditation removed for the remainder of the Conservative Party Conference.

“Our investigation into what happened is ongoing.

“GMP is here to protect. Women’s safety is a top priority and something we continue to take incredibly seriously.”

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