Theresa May says she is ‘blessed’ to have husband Philip after speech mishaps
The Prime Minister said the interruptions – including a prankster and persistent coughing – were “frustrating”.
Theresa May has paid tribute to husband Philip for the support he gave her after her conference speech was blighted by a dodgy set, a prankster and a stubborn cough.
The PM said she was “blessed to have a wonderful husband, great friends and family and a talented team around me” in her first interview since the crunch address was overshadowed by the mishaps.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, Mrs May said the interruptions, which included the letters of a slogan falling to the floor behind her and comedian Lee Nelson handing her a P45, were “really frustrating”, but thanked the party faithful for staying with her.
“I am enormously grateful for the support shown to me in the conference hall. It didn’t feel like I was alone up there – it felt like everyone in the room was with me and willing me on and that made a huge difference,” she said.
“I was also genuinely touched by the outpouring of support I received. From Philip and his hug to the many texts sent to my team and myself in the hours that followed.”
Mrs May smiled gleefully and gave a thumbs-up to delegates as she reached the end of a gruelling hour-long speech at the Manchester Central exhibition centre on Wednesday.
Philip quickly hopped onto the stage with open arms and embraced his wife consolingly before standing beside her with his hand on her back.
The PM’s efforts to appear unfazed by the mishaps included a number of off-the-cuff remarks, including a jibe at Jeremy Corbyn, when comedian Lee Nelson attempted to hand her a P45.
Despite Mrs May dealing with the security breach in a light-hearted fashion as Mr Nelson was led away, the incident posed serious questions for her close protection team.
Mrs May said she was not concerned for her safety, adding: “There was nothing about his body language that gave me cause for alarm.
“I have protection people who are fantastic. They look out for me and I trust them completely. I cannot imagine many people watching found the prank funny, though.”
The PM said a review would be carried out “into the events of the day” and defended party chairman Patrick McLoughlin, who has come under fire for over the incident.
Mrs May said it remained “hugely important” that leaders do not become shut off from the public.