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Liberal Democrat Conference 2011: Security Measures Too Tough At Conference, LibDems Say In Vote

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LIB DEM CONFERENCE
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Liberal Democrat activists have passed a motion condemning controversial security procedures at their party conference.

A heated debate on the motion was followed by a clear majority voting to "condemn the system of police accreditation adopted for this conference... which is designed to enable the police to advise that certain party members should not be allowed to attend".

While an amendment that called the current system of accreditation "discriminatory" was not carried, the vote represents the culmination of a row that has rumbled on for months inside the party.

Some delegates made speeches claiming the rules had discriminated against transgender members of the party in particular, as explained in a recent blog post by the transgender LibDem blogger Sarah Brown.

"They're not getting my details to store indefinitely, and grub around in my background, and have random conference officials who check my badge possibly find out how I got to be who I am now," Brown wrote.

LibDem members are angry that party members had to disclose personal data including photographs and passport information so they could be vetted by police before they received their pass.

Increased security procedures at the conference including a heavy police presence and bag scanning at the entrance have also annoyed some members.

The LibDem annual conference has in the past been a relatively relaxed affair, with delegates allowed to come and go without much scrutiny by police compared to conferences held by other major parties. But with the party now in government the security measures have been considerably stepped up.

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