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Who are the conference disruptives?

Martin Rosenbaum | 13:51 UK time, Monday, 18 December 2006

The Labour and Conservative party conferences earlier this year were noted for bureaucratic security delays over the issuing of passes, which meant that some of those attending had to queue for hours while others failed altogether to gain admission for certain sessions or fringe meetings.

As the tempers of frustrated queuers worsened, and pressure mounted on those processing applications, relations between the political parties and the Police were not entirely harmonious. This is clear in a document from the Dorset Police released to the BBC following a freedom of information request.

The Dorset Police were responsible for policing the Conservative conference in Bournemouth. According to this document, relations between the Police and party officials who were meant to be working alongside each other became so strained that the Police closed the door between their office and that of the Conservative officials, and then stationed a uniformed officer at the door.

The Labour conference was policed by the Greater Manchester force, which under FOI has supplied the BBC with a report of a 'multi-agency debrief' held after the conference to 'capture learning points'.

One Labour representative had this suggestion as to how to ensure similar problems did not crop up in future: 'Allow access without security screening for all who have attended before (except disruptives)'. Where this would leave Walter Wolfgang is not clear.

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