Tories’ virtual party conference suffers access glitch | Politics

Activists and observers were temporarily unable to log into the virtual Tory party conference on Saturday.

The problem occurred while the Cabinet Office minister, Michael Gove, took part in a so-called “fireside chat”. It was unclear how many people were able to tune in.

People and organisations who had paid for virtual stalls in the exhibition hall reportedly received messages from the Conservatives on Saturday afternoon saying: “Dear exhibitor, we are currently having some technical issues therefore you may not experience the full functionality of the stand or the platform at the moment. We are working extremely hard on getting that back up and running as soon as possible.

“If you continue to experience technical issues please contact technical help otherwise I will keep you updated as we progress. We appreciate your patience with this.”

The glitch was fixed after about 30 minutes

The Tories created a 3D virtual conference with a computer-generated auditorium, foyer and fringe meeting rooms, while politicians from other parties at their conferences simply spoke directly to camera.

Last year a flaw in the Conservatives’ official phone app for their conference made the private data of senior party members – including cabinet ministers – accessible to anyone who logged in as that conference attendee.

At the start of this weekend’s conference, Gove said the delivery of free ports, HS2 and the prime minister’s lifetime skills training guarantee would help create opportunities across the country.

Speaking in conversation with the West Midlands mayor, Andy Street, Gove also discussed the possibility of a trade deal with the EU.

“I suspect there will be one or two ups and downs along the way, but I am optimistic that we will get a deal,” he said. “But if we don’t, we have been making extensive preparations to be ready for anything.”


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