October 4, 2017 / 11:23 AM / 15 days ago

Prankster interrupts British PM May's keynote party speech

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - A prankster who has previously targeted U.S 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 May a P45 letter - a document given to employees when they leave their job - 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 cheer her.

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 as he was escorted out of the conference hall by security guards.

“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.”

Police said Brodkin had been arrested but later released. “The man had legitimate accreditation which granted him access to the conference site,” said Chief Superintendent John O’Hare. “In light of this we will be reviewing the accreditation process with the Conservative Party.”

Last year the comedian interrupted a media conference by Trump at his Scottish golf course by rolling golf balls towards him emblazoned with swastikas and in 2015 showered Blatter with fake paper money at a briefing with reporters.

Reporting by William James, Elizabeth Piper and Michael Holden; writing by Kate Holton and Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison and William Schomberg

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