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Iain Duncan Smith assaulted at Tory conference

Iain Duncan Smith assaulted at Tory conference
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It's day two of the Conservative party conference and there have been several ugly scenes already. Yesterday saw a banner quoting the IRA's words in the aftermath of the Brighton bomb hung by a nearby bridge close to the conference arena. Today Jacob Rees-Mogg was pursued by hecklers chanting that he was 'scum.' And now Iain Duncan Smith, the former leader of the Conservative party, has been assaulted by a group of men on his route to an event at the Mercure hotel. 

Duncan Smith arrived at a Brexit panel with Cabinet office minister Lord Frost, only to disappear midway through to discuss the incident with a police officer who took a statement from him. Speaking afterwards, he told Steerpike that he was pursued down the road from the Midland hotel to the Mercure by several men, one of whom threw a traffic cone which hit him on the head. Duncan Smith said:

For half a second I was about to go up and punch them, I went forward and they all backed off – I nearly knocked them out, lost my rag. I can't tell you very much other than they just followed us, used abusive language, attacked us and used a cone. I have to say I would have very nearly been done for assault myself, I turned after them and they sort of backed off and I dropped the cone. They were shouting all along and then they smashed the cone on the back of my head and so I turned and grabbed the cone and looked at them and I took a pace towards them and they backed off. I threw the cone on the ground, said "pathetic" and turned and walked off. They were incoherent, they were stupid.

Greater Manchester Police confirmed to Mr S that an incident had occurred around 4.p.m today on Great Portland Street:

Officers were on the scene within minutes. There aren't believed to be any serious injuries, and following a short foot pursuit three men and two women have been arrested in connection with it, and remain in custody for questioning. Enquiries are ongoing.
Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to steerpike@spectator.co.uk or message @MrSteerpike

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