Police were letting attendees leave but no-one could enter


Standoff as Brussels police order conservative event to close

A standoff developed as event organisers refused to sign a police notice ordering attendees to leave on the grounds that they would launch a legal appeal


Police entered a conservative event in Brussels on Tuesday afternoon to serve notice that all those inside should leave within 15 minutes.

A standoff developed as organisers of the National Conservative conference refused to sign the notice document on the grounds that they would launch a legal appeal.

Notice was served as keynote speaker Nigel Farage addressed a gathering of several hundred at Claridge, a nightclub in the Saint-Josse-ten-Noode quarter of the European Union capital. Other scheduled speakers included Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and French hard-right firebrand Eric Zemmour.

Police did not immediately attempt to enforce the evacuation order but positioned themselves outside and informed those leaving that they would not be allowed back in.

Claridge was the third location of the National Conservative event; the previous two were abandoned after left-wing protestors lobbied the owners of the Concert Nobel and Brussels Sofitel, both in the EU quarter, to abandon plans.

The Saint-Josse-ten-Noode mayor, Emir Kir, told local newspaper La Capitale that he would take “all possible measures” to close the event down. There were reports that authorities had threatened to cut power. The car of the building’s owner was reportedly towed away.

“The town hall has absolutely not given its agreement for this  event to take place,” Kir said. “I was taken aback and only knew about this early last night.”

Conference organiser Tony Gilland, of the MCC think-tank, stated: “This sounds like cancel culture!” The mayoral order to vacate the premises cited public safety and suggested there may be “racists” within the building, he said.

Talking outside, Farage said: “I’ve experienced cancel culture personally. Restaurants wouldn’t serve me in Brussels … coffee bars, even the pub I used to use … but what’s happened here is on the stage where there is global media.

“Legally held opinion from people who are going to win national elections are no longer acceptable here in Brussels, the home of globalism,” he added.