Interrupted by coughing fit and prankster, PM May struggles through keynote speech

Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 06:04 GMT, Oct 5, 2017 |

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s attempt to enthuse her divided party was overshadowed on Wednesday (October 4) by an extended coughing fit, a prankster and a even some letters falling off the slogan on stage behind her.

May had wanted to reset her Conservative agenda to try to reassert her authority, but was forced to stop several times – by coughing fits that forced her to take drinks of water and even a lozenge from her finance minister, and once when protester, British comedian Simon Brodkin, waved a dismissal notice under her nose.

Near the end of her speech, several letters fell off the party slogan placed on the wall just behind her: “Building a country that works for everyone”.

The 61-year-old May won standing ovations for pressing on with the address, in which she took a more personal tone – saying she did not mind being called the “Ice Maiden” and describing her “great sadness” at not having children.

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