Prime Minister Theresa May reset her “mainstream Conservative agenda” on Wednesday, taking on her critics, even a protester who interrupted her mid-speech, in an attempt to prove she can lead Britain and secure a strong Brexit.
In a keynote conference speech when the protester and a coughing fit brought her words almost to a halt, May won over many members in the hall by promising to reinvigorate the party by offering pledges to younger people and families alike.
The 61-year-old May also said she didn’t mind being called the ‘Ice Maiden’ but that unlike many of her critics she came from lowly beginnings, something that convinced her of the need of what she called a British dream.
Her address could be make or break for the prime minister, whose attempt to present a united front at the conference has been undermined by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, a possible leadership contender who received rousing applause for his speech on Tuesday.
A prankster, who has previously targeted US President Donald Trump and former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, interrupted British Prime Minister Theresa May’s keynote speech at her annual conference on Wednesday.
British comedian Simon Brodkin, who uses the stage name Lee Nelson, handed a P45 letter, a document given to employees when they leave their job, to May as she gave her speech to Conservative supporters.
As he was bundled out of the hall, May briefly stopped speaking before the party faithful stood to applaud and cheer her.
As security agents escorted him out of the conference hall, Brodkin quipped that Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson – who is widely believed to have ambitions to be prime minister himself – had told him to hand the P45 to May.
“Boris told me to hand her a P45,” he told Reuters. “He didn’t tell me why. He wanted me to do it.”
Writing on his Twitter feed shortly afterwards, Brodkin said: “Hi @BorisJohnson, I gave Theresa her P45 just like you asked.”
The comedian interrupted a media conference by Trump at his Scottish golf course last year by rolling golf balls towards him emblazoned with swastikas and in 2015 showered Blatter with fake paper money at a briefing with reporters.