28th Jun, 2022

MP Jeremy Wright fails to pull in the crowds at Tory party conference

Laura Kearns 3rd Oct, 2018 Updated: 4th Oct, 2018

MP Jeremy Wright has drawn criticism on social media after failing to pull in the crowds at his Tory party conference speech.

The Kenilworth and Southam MP and Digital and Culture Secretary had been expected to appear via hologram, but then attended the event in person.

While the Symphony Hall in Birmingham’s International Convention Centre had space for more than 2,200 people – only around 200 turned up to hear his speech.

He was mocked on social media by deputy leader of the Labour party Tom Watson who tweeted: “I got a bigger audience for my conference speech than Jeremy Wright – and I didn’t even do a conference speech.”

But Mr Wright says he believes many people tuned in online.

He told the Observer: “As Digital Minister I know you don’t have to be in the same room to enjoy a speech and I was pleased to join an event immediately afterwards where 200 people from the arts sector had been live streaming it.

“I was also delighted to see the positive reaction to a new £5million programme to help give 10,000 young people the opportunity to take part in performance in schools, which was announced in the speech.”

Coventry Coun David Skinner, a member of the Conservative party, was one of those to attend the speech.

He said: “The speech was not well attended. A major reason was the large number of other events running simultaneously in other rooms and outside the centre itself.

“I was there and found the speech very interesting. I have great respect for Mr Wright – he is a very caring and hard-working man.”

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