Rishi Sunak bans the public and press from Tory spring conference

Rishi Sunak has banned both the public and the press from the Conservative Party’s spring conference.

The goings-on of the Prime Minister and the ruling party all happened today behind closed doors, per The Guardian.

Sunak gave a speech on his priorities for the country, held a Q&A and hosted drinks for Tory activists at the Birmingham conference this evening.

But only Tory party officials and members were allowed to enter as it was an ‘internal event closed to media’, the party claimed.

‘It’s very simple really,’ Sunak told the crowd and several empty chairs in the venue earlier today, according to footage posted on Twitter.

‘It’s to halve inflation, grow the economy, reduce debt, cut waiting lists and stop the boats.’

Treasury Minister Andrew Griffith also quizzed Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on the economy after inflation defied expectations by rising to 10.4% after a slow downward trend.

While experts expected the consumer price surge to peak in October at 11.1%, inflation is now back in the double digits.

Food inflation especially has swelled, with prices rising at an annual rate of 18% – the largest increase in 45 years.

But the conference had some advice for cash-strapped Brits – well, Tory members hoping to raise money for the party, at least.

‘Raising money – how to seal deal with donors’ and ‘Our Plan – getting it done: you’ve said you’ll do it, now get it done!’ are two included sessions.

While business leaders who paid £500 attended a business day today full ‘of networking and highly interactive sessions between business leaders and government ministers’.

The ‘spring forum’ was described by the event’s brochure as ‘the most important two days of the next general election campaign so far’.

Though, the brochure said it was ‘a little bit different this year’.

Steve Goodrich of Transparency International UK told the Guardian that it’s ‘crucial’ to let the press attend political events.

‘Parties routinely sell privileged political access at their conferences, allowing private interests to lobby ministers and senior party figures, so they could at least keep these jamborees open to some media scrutiny on the public’s behalf,’ he said.

‘Journalists are crucial to informing the public about how our democracy works.

‘Closing the door to them keeps us all in the dark about access and potential influence in UK politics.’

Metro.co.uk contacted the Conservative Party for comment.

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