02:25 GMT29 March 2020
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    The major annual Tory event kicked off on Sunday and will last until Wednesday, with the prime minister’s speech due to round off the conference, which is set to focus on a range of talking points, including the ongoing Brexit and Westminster impasses, as well as looming EU deal deadlines.

    Sputnik has been denied accreditation to the Conservative Party gathering, which began on Sunday, 29 September, in Manchester, the night before the conference, with the application having been pending an answer for a month. An email which read that “a media accreditation hasn’t been granted” arrived at the very last moment, with no reasons for the denial being given.

    Meanwhile, accreditation for the equivalent Labour gathering earlier this week went smoothly and quickly and saw Sputnik’s correspondent among the reporters in attendance.

    The Conservatives have now gathered for the party’s annual conference in Manchester, with the Tory camp expected to cover the most pressing talking points – namely Brexit and related issues – as well as round off a turbulent preceding week that saw Westminster return to work after the Supreme Court ruled that Boris Johnson’s move to prorogue the Parliament was illegal.

    For the time being, the Tory prime minister’s speech is scheduled to be the closing event on Wednesday – the final day of the gathering, while Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will reportedly fill in for Johnson in the Commons, as the Parliament is expected to be sitting and debating all throughout the conference.

    Meanwhile, Mr Johnson is at the centre of a controversy over his conduct as mayor of London after he was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission to assess whether he should face a criminal investigation over his links with US businesswoman Ms Arcuri.

    Having arrived in Manchester on Saturday evening, the prime minister shrugged off the allegations, arguing that his dealings with Arcuri were conducted with all the possible “propriety”.


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