Man thrown out of Tory conference after woman ‘aggressively assaulted’

A man has been thrown out of the Conservative party conference after a senior energy executive said she was aggressively assaulted in the main bar on Sunday night.

Clementine Cowton, the director of external affairs at Octopus Energy Group, described the alleged attack at a fringe event, saying she had been “violently assaulted in the conference zone by a man” in the bar of the Midland hotel in Manchester, which is inside the secure zone.

She told the ConservativeHome fringe event that she wanted to draw attention to the incident, which has been reported to Greater Manchester police.

“It was a bit of a surprise, but I do want to just take the opportunity to say, women are often unsafe in places where other people feel safe, and it’s really important that we start to take that much more seriously as a society, starting with the police,” she said in comments first reported by the Times.

Cowton said the man had sat down next to her and refused to leave. “He was very intoxicated and I felt a bit unsafe around him, so I asked him several times politely to leave," sy het gese.

In order to create space between them, Cowton said she had dropped his phone on the ground but said he had then attacked her. She said other attenders had come to help and prevented any further harm. “He only managed to get as far as smashing a glass out of my hand," sy het gese.

The energy minister, Greg Hands, who was speaking at the event, said he was shocked at the account. “If there’s anything that can be done to assist the investigation, then I think we would all in this whole conference wish to assist in that," hy het gesê.

A Greater Manchester police spokesperson said police responded to an incident at the Midland hotel at about 12.30am after 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. Egter, a man has been identified and had his accreditation removed for the remainder of the Conservative party conference,”Het die woordvoerder gesê.

“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.”

A Conservative spokesperson said the man had been identified and removed from the conference. “This behaviour is completely unacceptable and the party has revoked the pass of the individual concerned and is working with the police," hulle het gesê.

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