Defeat for Tory MPs in not so 'strong and stable' display

By Greg Heffer, political reporter, in Birmingham
The last Conservative conference ended in disastrous circumstances with Theresa May's calamitous speech - and this year's event didn't begin any better for Tory MPs as they lost 5-0 in the curtain-raising football match.
Lining up against Westminster journalists, the team of Tory MPs and advisers were far from "strong and stable" as they conceded a succession of goals in the second half.
Former England and Liverpool star John Barnes had been scheduled to appear for the Conservatives, but injury left him having to settle for a role as the side's manager.He can't have been impressed by what he saw as, following a more even first half, the Tory team were overrun in the second 45 minutes.
Defeat for Tory MPs in not so 'strong and stable' display

John Barnes delivers a team talk as the MPs' manager
Health Secretary Matt Hancock was the biggest name among the MPs on show.And the government minister in charge of the NHS threatened to personally send the opposition goalkeeper for a visit to the nearest hospital, after he dived in to concede a free-kick.Mr Hancock noticeably began to tire as the first half wore on, with Sky News' Ramzi Bedj-Bedj striking the first goal for the journalists a few minutes before half-time.

Defeat for Tory MPs in not so 'strong and stable' display

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The health secretary was then substituted as the journalists dominated the second half, with i newspaper's Richard Vaughan netting a brace.Vaughan gave up a glorious chance for a hat-trick by hitting the crossbar, which enabled Bedj-Bedj to gather the rebound for his second.
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