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NatCon’s on-off conference halted by Brussels police

Police in Brussels have moved to shut down a right-wing conference attended by leading British Eurosceptic and former MEP Nigel Farage. The Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, was also due to speak at the event. The local mayor said he was banning the event to “guarantee public safety”.

The National Conservatism conference (NatCon) had only just got underway at the Claridge in Brussels when police arrived to halt proceedings. On his way there, Nigel Farage said Brussels “appears to have got even worse” since Brexit.

“I mean talk about cancel culture; these are political parties that are going to come top of the poll in at least nine European countries when we get the results through on June 10 of this year”, he said. So, on my way back to the ghastly Brussels, cancel culture alive and well”.

It’s certainly true that the first two venues arranged for the conference cancelled the bookings. The location had to be changed with less than 24 hours notice after the second location to be publicised, the Sofitel hotel on Place Jourdan in Brussels, pulled out.


It seems the district mayor and the local police had raised concerns about security and possible counter demonstrations. Similar objections had already led to the cancellation of the original venue announced for the two-day conference.

 “The hotel, which signed the contract on Friday, checked who the guests were and what the nature of the event was”, explained the mayor of the Etterbeek district. “An event of this magnitude is not without consequences in terms of unrest”, he added. The gathering was therefore once again canceled. The organisers, who were already on site to install equipment, did not want to leave the hotel when the cancellation was announced. A police team then intervened.

NatCon was initially scheduled to take place at the Concert Noble. Under pressure from various organisations such as the Anti-Fascist Coordination of Belgium, the manager of the Edificio reception hall decided to cancel the event. The mayor of the City of Brussels, Philippe Close, had recommended to the manager that he either cancelled the conference or arranged suitable security.



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