The subject of the EU caused psychodrama and strife within the Tories for years - and even after Brexit, today the Conservative Party Conference saw a violent struggle.
But this time the chaos that erupted wasn't internecine arguing - instead a well-known pro-EU protester was violently wrestled out of the event. Steve Bray, who is known for his long-standing protest outside parliament, was kicked out after he shouted ‘what are the Brexit benefits’, prompting the audience to yell profanities as he was led out.
The commotion took place at a fringe meeting called Can the Tories Win? by the pro-Brexit Bruges group, with Lord Daniel Hannan, Barry Legg and Tim Congdon due to speak. Mr Bray was escorted from a meeting of the right-wing group outside the secure zone in Manchester city centre after interrupting a speaker.
Wearing a blue pro-EU T-shirt, Mr Bray said: “Where are the Brexit benefits?” After briefly grappling with an audience member, he was escorted from the venue, continuing to protest and describing the attendees as “losers”.
The meeting at the Friends’ Meeting House on the subject of whether the Conservatives could win the next election had been due to be addressed by party vice-chair Lee Anderson but the Ashfield MP had pulled out at short notice.
Mr Bray has staged a long-running protest against Brexit, with a weekly demonstration in Parliament Square while the House of Commons is sitting, and has come to Manchester to protest at the Conservative conference.
During debates on Brexit, he was often seen and heard in the background of news broadcasts from near Parliament.