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Nigel Farage said the decision to shut the conference down was as an attempt to stifle free speech
By Nick Beake in Brussels and Laura Gozzi
BBC News

Brussels police have told the BBC they will enforce an order to close down the National Conservatism Conference.

Organisers say the event in the Belgian capital is continuing, but guests are no longer allowed to enter.

Local authorities raised concerns over the safety of the public, saying the conference should not go ahead.

The conference aims to bring together right-wing politicians across Europe, including Nigel Farage and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Former UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman and far-right French politician Eric Zemmour were also listed as keynote speakers.

In a message to organisers, the area’s local mayor Emir Kir claimed some of the attendees hold anti-gay and anti-abortion views.

Mr Kir wrote on X: “The far right is not welcome.”

The National Conservatism Conference reportedly started around 08:00 (06:00 GMT) on Tuesday and carried on for three hours until police showed up and asked the organisers to make attendees leave.

Later, organisers wrote on X: “The police are not letting anyone in. People can leave, but they cannot return. Delegates have limited access to food and water, which are being prevented from delivery. Is this what city mayor Emir Kir is aiming for?”

Nigel Farage, who took to the stage this morning, told the BBC the decision to close down the conference because there were homophobes in the audience was “cobblers”, and that he condemned the decision as an attempt to stifle free speech.

“Thank God For Brexit”, he said.

Mr Farage left the venue, saying he was making a “discreet exit”.

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban and the former Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki were due to speak tomorrow.

Earlier, the organisers said on X that they would challenge the order to shut the conference down.

“The police entered the venue on our invitation, saw the proceedings and the press corps, and quickly withdrew. Is it possible they witnessed how peaceful the event is?,” they wrote on X.

The Claridge event space – located near Brussels’s European Quarter – can host up to 850 people. Around 250 people were in attendance on Tuesday afternoon.

It is the third venue that was supposed to hold the event, after the previous two fell through. Belgian media reported that one venue pulled out after pressure by a group called the “Antifascist coordination of Belgium”.