London Assembly member kicked out of Tory conference after calling speech ‘homophobic’ and ‘trash’

Andrew Boff objected to comments made by the home secretary in her speech to the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

London Assembly member Andrew Boff
London Assembly member Andrew Boff

A prominent London Conservative was removed by security during Suella Braverman’s speech at the party’s conference on Tuesday (3rd) after calling it “trash”.

Andrew Boff, chair of the London Assembly, was filmed heckling the home secretary when she described “gender ideology” as a “poison” in modern Britain.

Boff, who has put himself forward to be the party’s London mayoral candidate six times, could be heard saying: “There’s no such thing as gender ideology.”

Braverman was claiming in her speech in Manchester that “highly controversial ideas are [being] presented to the workforce, and to the public, as if they’re motherhood and apple pie”. Among these ideas, she included “gender ideology, white privilege and anti-British history”.

After Boff objected, he was immediately tapped on the arm by a member of security, to whom he said: “No, this is trash.”

Following an apparent request to be quiet during the speech, he could be heard saying that they would have to “make” him leave. As he was taken outside, including by a member of Greater Manchester Police, he said: “It’s tripe. It’s just a homophobic rant.”

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Boff, who was the first person in London to enter a same-sex civil partnership in 2005, told Sky News outside the conference hall that he has been “a loyal Tory for 50 years”.

Asked about his comments, he said: “This trash about gender ideology is making our Conservative Party look transphobic and homophobic. This is not what the Conservative Party is about.”

Braverman later said the heckles were “silly” but that Boff should be “forgiven and let back into conference”.

He won praise on X, previously known as Twitter, from current and former colleagues on the assembly. Emma Best, deputy leader of the City Hall Conservatives, said: “Proud of my friend and colleague @AndrewBoff for standing up as a critical friend. Our party of free speech should apologise to him.”

Green group leader Caroline Russell said he is “always a trans ally and rock solid on LGBT rights”, while the Liberal Democrats’ Hina Bokhari said his removal “confirms the message that socially liberal views are no longer welcome in the Conservative Party”.

Labour’s Florence Eshalomi, now MP for Vauxhall, urged her former assembly colleague: “Speak your truth Andrew.”

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