Conservative Party suspends member who 'violently assaulted' woman at conference

4 October 2021, 17:48 | Updated: 4 October 2021, 19:58

The alleged attack happened at the Midland Hotel in Manchester
The alleged attack happened at the Midland Hotel in Manchester. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

The Conservatives have suspended a member who allegedly assaulted a woman at this week's party conference.

Clementine Cowton, director of external affairs at Octopus Energy Group, reportedly told a fringe event she had been "violently assaulted" while attending the conference in Manchester.

Party officials have confirmed they are now working with the police.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak defends tax hikes and insists 'more borrowing is immoral'

According to The Times, Ms Cowton said she was in the bar of The Midland Hotel - one of the main destinations at the autumn political gathering - when an inebriated man, who she described as in his 30s, sat in a seat vacated by her friend.

The male attendee, who has also been expelled from the conference, made her so uncomfortable that she asked him "several times politely to leave".

When he refused to go, the senior executive said she took his phone and dropped it on the floor in a bid to get him away from her.

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

According to the report, Ms Cowton said the man tried to punch her but was stopped by others in the bar, with the resulting scuffle ending up with her glass being smashed.

When approached for comment, 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 confirmed it had suspended the Tory member following the reported clash.

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

A force spokesman added: "Officers arrived quickly, there were no reports of any injures, 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."

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

She said she went public with what allegedly happened to her because she wanted to emphasise that "women are often unsafe in places where other people feel safe".

Octopus said it would not be commenting.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Defendant Josef Fritzl, center, is escorted to the fourth day of his trial in the provincial courthouse in St. Poelten, Austria, Thursday, March 19, 2009.

Notorious sex offender Josef Fritzl placed under legal guardianship as worsening dementia

Rod Stewart (pictured on stage in Copenhagen on Sunday June 9) was booed by German fans for supporting Ukraine

Rod Stewart defends show of support for Ukraine after booing at Germany concert

Police officer found guilty of gross misconduct after joyrider killed child actor and aunt in 60mph pursuit

Police officer found guilty of gross misconduct after joyrider killed child actor and aunt in 60mph pursuit

Mugshot of McNaughton, left, and smiling photo or Mr Coshan, right

Catfisher jailed for life after murdering retired teacher he 'lured' to flat using fake profile on gay dating site

Keir Starmer said he was "really shocked" at the footage

'Shocked' Keir Starmer accuses police of 'animal cruelty' after runaway cow rammed five times with squad car

The OceanGate submersible has five people on board

Poignant CGI shows how deep doomed Titan descended on it's ill-fated final journey to the Titanic wreck

Nigel Farage vows to fix 'broken Britain' as he launches Reform UK election 'contract'

Nigel Farage vows to fix 'broken Britain' as he launches Reform UK election 'contract'

Shanika Ocean who plays DC Anna Gilchrist in Silent Witness

Silent Witness actress tells of terror after hooded man tries to get in her car near Tower Bridge

Police were called to Blair Way, Aberavon on Monday

Man, 24, airlifted to hospital with serious injuries after dog attack

Nigel Farage confirmed his ambition to be prime minister by 2029

Nigel Farage reveals ambition to be Prime Minister by 2029 ahead of Reform UK manifesto launch

A missing American tourist has been found dead on a beach on a small Greek island west of Corfu, local media reports

American tourist who went missing on hike found dead on Greek island days after death of Dr Michael Mosley

Joshua Merchan-Nicholls

Would-be pilot needs £106,000 for flight training after losing support when company that backed him shut down

Alan won eight League titles and three European Cups with Liverpool

Alan Hansen ‘on the mend’ and sounding ‘fabulous’ says his friend Graeme Souness

French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet was one of the five passengers on board Titan

Daughter of 'Mr Titanic' killed in Titan tragedy pays tribute to father one year on from disaster


Greek coastguard caused dozens of deaths in Mediterranean - including nine who were deliberately thrown in water, investigation finds

Police rammed the cow

New ‘heartbreaking’ videos show close up of ‘3rd or 4th attempt’ as police ram 4x4 into terrified cow