Conservative Party conference: Member suspended after woman 'violently assaulted' in hotel bar

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A Conservative Party member has been suspended after a woman said she was "violently assaulted" at the party's conference.

Clementine Cowton, director of external affairs at Octopus Energy Group, told a fringe event at the annual conference in Manchester that a "very intoxicated" man came and sat next to her at the Midland Hotel bar on Sunday evening.

She said she asked him to politely leave "several times" as she felt unsafe around him but when she took his phone and dropped it on the floor to create space between them "he came back and attacked me", the Times reported.

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He tried to punch her, she said, but was "immediately set upon by lots of people who stopped him from doing anything".

"He only managed to get as far as smashing a glass out of my hand," she told the event.

A Conservative Party spokeswoman confirmed a party member has now been suspended and ejected from the conference.

She said: "This behaviour is completely unacceptable and the party has revoked the pass of the individual concerned and is working with the police."

Greater Manchester Police confirmed it had been called to an incident at the hotel at about 12.30am on Monday "to reports of an assault on a 33-year-old woman".

A force spokesman said: "Officers arrived quickly, there were no reports of any injuries, and no arrests were made, however a man has been identified, had his accreditation removed for the remainder of the Conservative Party conference. Our investigation into what happened is ongoing."

The four-day conference is the first in-person meeting of the party and its members since 2019.

Watch: Conservative Party conference 2021: Raab will promise to 'transform' how justice system deals with violence against women

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