Officials to review security after British PM May targeted by prankster

Simon Brodkin hands a P45 job termination form to Prime Minister Theresa May Wednesday during her speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Photo by Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Oct. 5 (UPI) — British political officials said they will re-evaluate security measures at government functions, after a prankster got within a few feet of Prime Minister Theresa May during a speech and handed her an unemployment form.

May was speaking Wednesday at a conference for the British Conservative Party when serial prankster Simon Brodkin handed her a P45 form — which is used in Britain as bureaucratic paperwork when a person leaves a job.

Brodkin told her, “[British Foreign Secretary] Boris [Johnson] told me to give you this.”

May placed the paper on the floor before resuming her speech.

Brodkin, who also goes by the character Lee Nelson, was taken out by security and was arrested for breach of peace. He was released shortly and will face no charges for the stunt.

The prank raised questions about the vetting of conference attendees. Brodkin had legitimate credentials for the event, despite police checks on applicants.

“If he’s known for being a prankster but doesn’t have a criminal record, then that wouldn’t necessarily come up on the checks that we do,” a spokesman for the Greater Manchester Police said.

“That could be something that may have come upon the Conservative Party’s checks, but I don’t know the specifics of their checks. Ours is criminal and terrorism.”

A spokesperson for the Conservative Party, or Tories, announced plans to work with police to review their vetting policies for future applicants.


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