Priti Patel was widely mocked yesterday after proclaiming the Tories to be the “party of law and order” — just hours after one of her colleagues was sent home from the party’s conference in Manchester following a fracas with security staff.
Police were scrambled to the “scuffle” involving senior MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and a member of the Manchester Conference Centre’s security team.
Sir Geoffrey had attempted to bring his fiancee, who did not have the relevant pass, into the International Lounge when he was stopped by a member of staff.
The Cotswolds MP is understood to have remonstrated with the member of staff, at which point security personnel intervened.
A Tory spokesman said: “The incident was totally unacceptable. Geoffrey has been asked to leave Conference and we are establishing all of the facts to see if further action is necessary.
“We will always adopt a zero tolerance approach to any inappropriate behaviour towards our hard-working staff.”
Sir Geoffrey said: “I’ve got nothing further to say about it. I don’t want to comment on it, really.”
The incident overshadowed Ms Patel’s debut speech as Home Secretary which came just over an hour later.
She used her speech to proclaim that the party had taken “its rightful place as the party of law and order in Britain once again”.
She added: “To the police service – we back you. And to the criminals, I simply say this, we are coming after you.
“We stand for the forces of right, and against the forces of evil.
“We stand for the law-abiding majority, not the criminal minority.”
The speech also reconfirmed a raft of measures announced by Boris Johnson earlier this year on police recruitment, all of which will involve Holyrood being handed almost £100 million in Barnett consequentials.