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Conservative party conference has been cancelled and replaced by a virtual event due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Party chairman Amanda Milling confirmed the move, insisting the Tories’ “first priority is for the health and safety of members, delegates and attendees”.
The event, which was due to take place in Birmingham between October 4 and 7, will now be held online.
But Milling said the party hoped to include “some elements of the traditional party conference we all know and love” if Covid-secure guidelines allow.
This year @Conservatives will be holding a Virtual Conference - we’ll announce more details in due course.— Amanda Milling #StayAlert (@amandamilling) July 7, 2020
If guidelines allow we hope we can include some elements of the traditional Party Conference we all know and love.
See you virtually in October! pic.twitter.com/RBwrds6zyV
Labour has already cancelled its annual party conference, which was due to be held in Liverpool at the end of September.
The Liberal Democrats have also cancelled their conference.
The cancellations could harm the fortunes of the main party leaders.
Boris Johnson would have perhaps looked to be drawing something of a line under the coronavirus crisis, assuming infections had stayed down, and focusing attention on post-Brexit Britain after the transition period ends on October 31.
Keir Starmer has also lost the opportunity to give his first conference speech as Labour leader in front of a large crowd of members.
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