Saturday, 31 Oct 2020

Tory virtual conference off to a rocky start as viewers report website crashing

The Conservative Party’s virtual conference got off to a bumpy start today as many viewers reported that the website crashed during a talk with cabinet minister Michael Gove.

Party members and observers who registered for the event posted screenshots on social media of error messages received as they logged in to watch the ‘fireside chat’ between Mr Gove and West Midlands mayor Andy Street. 

The error messages suggest the problem lay with the server used by the Conservatives to host the live-stream rather than the viewers’ systems.

Party officials could not initially figure out what was at fault, according to The Independent – yet complaints on social media suggested viewers were still having issues over an hour after they were first reported.

One Twitter user claiming to have registered for the conference wrote: ‘“#CPC20 Reminding me of UCAS, on results day morning – the portal’s either crashing or showing black screens for all the live streams.’

Another wrote: ‘After a few hours of dealing with errors, blank screens, unresponsive links and crashouts, I finally managed to get into a virtual event for Conservative Party conference. 

‘Changing devices not browsers did the trick for me. Tablet works better than phone.’

All political parties have had to move their annual conferences online due to the coronavirus pandemic.


The Tory conference was originally scheduled to take place in Birmingham but is instead being live-streamed via the Conservatives website, with talks posted on Periscope and Twitter.

A mock conference hall has been replicated in cyberspace with users able to move from booth to booth to interact with different activist groups and affiliates, which appears to still be working.

The Conservative Party has yet to issue a statement on the reported glitches and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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