Female executive was 'violently assaulted' in bar at Tory conference

Female executive at Octopus Energy tells how she was ‘violently assaulted’ in hotel bar at Tory conference by ‘drunk’ man after he ‘invaded’ her space

  • Clementine Cowton was ‘violently assaulted’ in bar at Tory conference last night
  • Octopus Energy Group executive was allegedly attacked in Manchester hotel
  • Tory Party said it has revoked man’s pass and is working with police on incident 

A female executive says she called the police after she was ‘violently assaulted’ at a hotel bar at the Tory Party conference in Manchester last night.

Clementine Cowton, the director of external affairs at Octopus Energy Group, told a fringe event today that she was assaulted in the conference zone by a man in the bar of the Midland hotel in the city.

She described the ‘intoxicated’ man as in his mid-30s, white and bald, telling the event that he had allegedly ‘invaded’ her space and refused to leave despite her asking him ‘politely’ several times. 

Clementine Cowton, the director of external affairs at Octopus Energy, says she called the police after she was ‘violently assaulted’ at a hotel bar at the Tory Party conference in Manchester last night

When he refused to leave, Miss Cowton said she took his phone and dropped it on the floor to create space between them when he picked it up. As he went to retrieve, he then allegedly ‘came back and attacked’ her.

She claimed he tried to punch her but he was ‘immediately set upon by lots of people who stopped him from doing anything’, only managing to get as far as ‘smashing a glass’ out of her hand.

The executive added that she reported the alleged incident to police after officers came over to her 20 minutes later. MailOnline has contacted Greater Manchester Police for further information.

‘So sorry to dump this on everybody,’ Miss Cowton told the event.

Miss Cowton told a fringe event today that she was assaulted in the conference zone by a man in the bar of the Midland hotel in the city

‘It was a bit of a surprise but I do want to just take the opportunity to say, women are often unsafe in places where other people feel safe, and it’s really important that we start to take that much more seriously as a society and, starting with the police.’

A Conservative Party spokesman told MailOnline: ‘This behaviour is completely unacceptable and the Party has revoked the pass of the individual concerned and is working with the police.’ 

Energy Minister Greg Hands said it was a ‘shocking account’ and ‘we all stand with you’, according to the Times. 

He added: ‘If there’s anything that can be done to assist the investigation, then I think we would all in this whole conference wish to assist in that. But thank you for telling us about it and… giving us a real example of such a big challenge that this country as a whole is facing.’ 

MailOnline has contacted the Midland hotel for comment.

A police spokesman said: ‘Police responded to an incident at the Midland hotel at around 12:30am this morning (Monday 4 October) to reports of an assault on a 33-year-old woman.

‘Officers arrived quickly, there were no reports of any injures, and no arrests were made, however a man has been identified, had his accreditation removed for the remainder of the Conservative Party Conference.

‘Our investigation into what happened is ongoing. GMP is here to protect. Women’s safety is a top priority, and something we continue to take incredibly seriously.

‘If you see or hear anything that doesn’t seem quite right, don’t hesitate to get in touch with police, which you can do via LiveChat on our website www.gmp.police.uk, or call 101, or 999 in an emergency.’

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