Socialist Mayor Orders Shut Down of Nigel Farage Conference in Brussels

British eurosceptic populist Nigel Farage speaks to journalists at the "NatCon" national c
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A socialist mayor in Brussels ordered police to shut down the National Conservatism Conference being held in the city while Brexit leader Nigel Farage was speaking on Tuesday.

UPDATE 1500: Former French presidential candidate and the leader of the populist Reconquête (Reconquest) party Éric Zemmour has reportedly been barred from entering the National Conservatism Conference by police in Brussels. NatCon said that Zemmour’s “keynote address will, unfortunately, be postponed, possibly indefinitely.”

President of French far right party Reconquete Eric Zemmour is denied access by Belgium police to the "NatCon" national conservatism conference gathering hard-right European politicians at the Claridge hotel in Brussesl on April 16, 2024, as Brussels authorities ordered its shutdown, after it was targeted by online protesters and bumped from its first two choices of venue. (Photo by Simon Wohlfahrt / AFP) (Photo by SIMON WOHLFAHRT/AFP via Getty Images)

President of French populist Reconquête party Eric Zemmour is denied access by Belgium police to the “NatCon” national conservatism conference gathering conservative European politicians at the Claridge hotel in Brussels on April 16, 2024, as Brussels authorities ordered its shutdown. (Photo by Simon Wohlfahrt / AFP) (Photo by SIMON WOHLFAHRT/AFP via Getty Images)

UPDATE 1420: Nigel Farage has claimed that the Tunisian owner of the venue hosting the National Conservatism Conference has been threatened by Brussels officials “that if he carries on with this conference, they’ll make sure he will go out of business” and that “his wife is being threatened”. “This is what we are up against,” Mr Farage told the NatCon audience.

UPDATE 1350: Former British Home Secretary Suella Braverman, chastised the “thought police” in Brussels for ordering the closing down of the National Conservatism Conference at which she was scheduled to deliver a speech.

In comments recorded in footage of Mrs Braverman speaking to journalists as seen by Breitbart News, the former Home Secretary said: “I’m here with likeminded democrats, democratically elected politicians, leaders and experts in their fields and we are here talking about talking about the issues that matter to the British people… securing our borders, making our communities safer, how to protect our countries.

“And it’s a real shame the thought police instructed by the Mayor of Brussels who saw fit to try and undermine and denigrate what is a free speech debate. I remember the words of Mrs Thatcher… ‘the more ridiculous and far-fetched and extremist their attempts are to silence us, the more cheered on I am’.”

“What really does concern me here with what is happening in Brussels is that only last year, the mayor of Brussels was happy to host the mayor of Tehran here in Brussels. And yet he seems pretty offended by democratically elected politicians, people from all over the European continent who are giving voice to millions of people,” Braverman continued.

“Could this happen in the UK? I generally think we have a culture of freedom of speech, we value debate and the free flow of ideas. It’s a cherished foundation of our democracy.”

UPDATE 1335: The social media account for the National Conservatism Conference claimed that Brussels police are preventing anyone from entering the event Claridge venue after being ordered by municipal Socialist Mayor Emir Kir to shut down the conference. NatCon said that attendees are permitted to leave the hall but are not allowed to return. They added that even food and water deliveries to the venue are currently being blocked by police. NatCon said they are “legally challenging” the police order to stop the conference.

UPDATE 1320: Nigel Farage blasted the move by a socialist Brussels mayor to shut down the National Conservatism Conference as being akin to the “old Soviet Union”, with “no alternative view allowed”. The Brexit leader said that it was an attempt to shut down politicians on course to win national votes during the June European Parliament elections such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán — who was slated to speak at the event — because they challenge the globalist ideology of Brussels and oppose “ever closer union”.

UPDATE 1310: Speaking in front of a kebab shack after leaving the stage, Nigel Farage, a former Member of the European Parliament said that it is not the first time he has faced “cancel culture” in Brussels, saying that during his time in the city prior to Brexit, he faced bars and restaurants refusing to serve him. Commenting on the police order to shut down the NatCon conference during his speech, he said per the Brussels Signal: “We can see that legally-held opinions from people who are going to win national elections are no longer acceptable here in Brussels — the home of globalism.”

According to the Signal, police have yet to enforce the order to shut down the conference despite having entered the building. Mr Farage said that they would likely shut down the event sometime this afternoon.

The original story continues as follows…

The NatCon conference at the Claridge, near the European Quarter of Brussels, was “sabotaged” by police on the order of Emir Kir, the mayor of the Saint-Josse-ten-Noode municipality of the Belgian capital. The Turkish heritage socialist mayor said according to Sky News: “I issued an order from the mayor to ban the ‘National Conservatism Conference’ event to guarantee public safety.

“In Etterbeek, Brussels City and Saint-Josse, the far-right is not welcome,” he added in reference to previous venue cancellations for the NatCon conference in Belgium.

The police reportedly handed organisers of the event, which included the MCC think tank and the American Edmund Burke Foundation, notice of the shutdown as Brexit leader Nigel Farage was on stage, ordering them to end the event within 15 minutes. Mr Farage told the crowd according to GB News: “I’ve heard the police are very eager to close us down, so they can close it down with me on stage.”

“If anything has convinced me Brexit was the right thing to do, it was the events here today,” Farage added.

Other speakers scheduled for the National Conservatism Conference were set to include Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, former British Home Secretary Suella Braverman, and former French presidential candidate Éric Zemmour.

An organiser from the MCC think thank, Frank Füredi told the POLITICO website: “It’s really something out of a tinpot dictatorship… They’re trying to use a technical reason to make a political point. They told the owner that if it doesn’t get shut down they’re gonna cut the electricity.”

Police reportedly cited the potential of public disorder as the reason for shutting down the event, with local “anti-fascist” groups threatening mass protests outside the building.

The Claridge was already the third venue for the NatCon conference, after its first venue, the Concert Noble, decided to cancel amid reported pressure from Socialist Mayor of Brussels Philippe Close. Their second attempt at a venue, the Sofitel Hotel, was also cancelled amid reported pressure from the liberal mayor of Etterbeek, Vincent De Wolf.

This story is developing, more to come…

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