Chaos as authorities close down 'right-wing' conference with Farage and Braverman as speakers

16 April 2024, 14:28 | Updated: 16 April 2024, 15:06

Authorities attempted to shut down the NatCon conference
Authorities have started to shut down the NatCon conference. Picture: Getty Images

By Flaminia Luck

A "right-wing" conference with Nigel Farage and Suella Braverman as speakers has descended into chaos as authorities have begun to shut it down.

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The former UKIP leader was on stage at the National Conservatism when police arrived at the venue, ahead of a speech by the former Home Secretary.

Reports on social media suggest that the event was given 15 minutes to shut down with police entering the building.

Farage has blasted the move describing it a "disgrace" and saying that it is proof free speech is being stifled.

"For the Mayor and police to shut down a peaceful political event makes me more convinced of Brexit than ever" he said on Twitter.

He added: "We can see that legally held opinions from people who are going to win national elections is no longer acceptable, here in Brussels, the home of globalism.

"Because if you don't agree with an ever closer union, it must be a bad thing," he said.

Atendees were told by NatCon organiser Yoram Hazony that the conference would be closed "gradually" due to it causing a "public disturbance".

He assured guests they would continue tomorrow morning at a different venue.

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Members of the Belgian police enter into the venue
Members of the Belgian police enter into the venue. Picture: Getty

Wes Streeting mocked the former Home Sec while speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

"She's currently in Brussels surrounded by the police who are trying to shut down the event she's attending with some far-right fanatics with whom she has much in common," he said.

The two-day conference also includes Hungarian leader Viktor Orban in the line-up.

Emir Kir, the mayor of Brussels district Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, said he had issued an order banning the National Conservatism conference from taking place on Tuesday "to guarantee public safety".

He added: "In Etterbeek, in Brussels City and in Saint-Josse, the far-right is not welcome."

Police block the entrance of the Claridge hotel in Brussesl where is held the "NatCon" national conservatism conference
Police block the entrance of the Claridge hotel in Brussesl where NatCon is being held. Picture: Getty

The conference had already struggled to find a venue, with two event spaces cancelling in the face of public pressure.

Rishi Sunak had faced pressure to block Ms Braverman's attendance at the conference, with Labour shadow minister Jonathan Ashworth urging him to stop the former home secretary "giving oxygen to these divisive and dangerous individuals".

The National Conservatism Conference said it aims to bring together voices from across Europe to share their views on the continent's future political outlook.

Around 40 leading figures from the conservative and religious right and far-right were invited to take part.

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