Coronavirus forces Green Party to cancel Spring Conference

The Green Party has taken the decision to cancel its Spring Conference, which was due to take place in Brighton on 20-22 March, amid the growing threat of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Brighton pier
Brighton pier

Image: Aleem Yousaf / Flickr / cc by-sa 2.0

Imogen Benson

The Green Party has announced that its Spring Conference, due to take place in Brighton on the weekend 20-22 March, will not be going ahead in light of the global outbreak of COVID-19.

In a statement, the Party said: “As a democratic party, conference plays an important role in determining policy and the overall direction of the party, as well as providing a space for training and discussion for members. 

“However it would not be responsible to continue with our plans given the ongoing situation. 

“In lieu of conference, plans are already underway to provide members with access to fringe sessions and interaction opportunities online throughout the course of the weekend.  

“We will be offering refunds of fees for those already booked. We hope that, given the party will face a significant financial loss as a result of this decision, those members that are able to consider forgoing this will do so.”

More than 135,000 people globally have been confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus, which was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday (11 March).

The UK, which has a total of 590 confirmed cases, moved from the ‘contain’ to ‘delay’ phase of controlling the virus yesterday (12 March), with Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for those with a persistent cough or fever to self-isolate for seven days.

While the government has taken the decision not to close schools or ban mass gatherings for the time being, many businesses and organisations are taking the decision to cancel events and work from home in an attempt to curb the spread of the disease.