MEP admits party "battered and bruised" after election

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YORKSHIRE MEP John Procter has admitted Conservative party activists feel "battered and bruised" after June's general election.

Mr Procter was speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference organised by the Think North group.

He said: "It has been a difficult year for many of us. We've spent a huge amount of our time, part of our lives, devoting ourselves to our chosen cause and some people feel very battered and bruised.

"But we are here today, we are here this week, and I am sure we will be united by the time we leave if we are not already so."

Jacqueline Foster, the Conservatives' deputy leader in the European Parliament, urged activists to unite behind Theresa May as she accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of being a terrorist sympathiser.

She said: "If we don't have Theresa May as the leader of our party and prime minister, and we don't all pull together, there could be a risk of Jeremy Corbyn, who is not only an IRA sympathiser but a Hamas sympathiser, somebody who has no regard, in my view, sometimes for the constitution of the United Kingdom, becoming the Prime Minister of this country."

The conference in Manchester opened against the backdrop of a fresh intervention on Brexit from Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson which seemed to go beyond the position set out by Mrs May.

But Mrs Foster told the meeting no one individual was bigger than the party and that the Conservatives' history showed that divisions led to Labour governments.

She also criticised "doom-mongers" warning that Brexit will damage the UK's economic prospects, adding: "We're going to make sure Brexit works."