Boris Johnson heckler allowed back into Rotherham conference just minutes after he was thrown out

A heckler who berated Boris Johnson over the prorogation of Parliament was able to re-enter the building he had been thrown out of just minutes before.

Monday, 16th September 2019, 14:42 pm
Ben Gilchrist is ejected as Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a speech at the Convention of the North at the Magna Centre. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Ben Gilchrist, 41, took the Prime Minister's speech at the Convention of the North in Rotherham on Friday as an opportunity to air his frustration with Parliament being suspended.

But even though Mr Gilchrist, a charity deputy chief executive from Manchester, was dragged from the event by two security guards and thrown out, he was able to walk to another entrance and go back into the conference by showing his original ticket.

Mr Gilchrist's outburst came during a section of Mr Johnson's speech where he was talking about giving power to local people. Mr Gilchrist said: “Like our MPs, Boris? Maybe get back to Parliament.”

Mr Johnson said: "I'm all in favour of our MPs."

But Mr Gilchrist hit back: “Why are you not with them in Parliament sorting out the mess that you created? Why don't you sort it out Boris?"

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post Mr Gilchrist said he had not planned to heckle the Prime Minister, but was aware there might be an opportunity to have his views heard. And he had been particularly frustrated by promises to the North which he felt he would not be kept.

Ben Gilchrist, who heckled Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Convention of the North in Rotherham on Friday. Photo: Ben Gilchrist

Mr Gilchrist said: "I don't believe it at all, a no deal Brexit - which I believe he is pursuing - would have a huge negative impact on the whole country but especially the northern economy.

"I was not at all impressed. There's nothing new there and that's what I wanted to speak out about."

He said: "It was prepared but not planned exactly. I was feeling very angry about [prorogation] and if I got the chance to be in the space with a minister I thought I would tell them directly."

It was not until he arrived at the event, which was planned to bring together the North's political, business, community and academic leaders, along with young people's groups, to make a unified case for tangible investment in the Northern Powerhouse, that Mr Gilchrist was aware the Prime Minister was speaking.

He said: "I tried to psych myself up. The top line as I see it, is it is a really terrible attack on our democracy, I'm very passionate about our democracy. And actually I do have opinions on Brexit but primarily for me it's not about a leave or remain argument. I just think it's a terrible abuse of power at such a critical time."

Mr Gilchrist said after he was forced to leave the room by security guards - who he said were "very professional" - he was taken outside to the nearest gate.

But after speaking to protesters there to demonstrate against Mr Johnson, he was able to walk around the building to the main entrance and re-enter using his original ticket.

He attended a fringe event in the afternoon called The People are the Powerhouse.

After Mr Gilchrist was removed from the event Mr Johnson said: "Whatever the shenanigans that may be going on at Westminster, we will get on with delivering our agenda and preparing to take this country out of the EU on October 31.”

He added: “To the gentlemen who left prematurely, not necessarily under his own steam, that is the answer to his question.”

Organisers Beaconhouse Events were approached for comment.