A MAJOR security review is underway after a prankster was able to lunge towards Theresa May as she delivered her keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester.

Simon Brodkin was arrested after clambering over a scrum of photographers to hand the Prime Minister a P45 unemployment notice in what has been billed a "serious" lapse in protection detail.

READS MORE: How Herald reporter Michael Settle experienced bizarre P45 prank

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Tory backbencher George Freeman, who heads the Prime Minister's policy board, said the comedian – also known as Lee Nelson – could have been a terrorist.

"There should be some very serious questions... Questions will be asked about how he was allowed to get that close," he said.

Hundreds of spectators at the Manchester Central Convention Complex watched in disbelief as Brodkin calmly strode to the conference podium and handed Mrs May a P45 and said: “Boris asked me to give you this."

Several seconds elapsed before the man was escorted from the premises to audience chants of “Out! Out!”

As he was bundled away, he told reporters: "Boris told me to do it.

"He's left me in the lurch."

Greater Manchester Police confirmed that Brodkin, who was later seen in handcuffs, had been accredited to attend the Tory Party conference.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: "In light of the arrest during the Prime Minister's speech we are working with the police to review the accreditation process and security arrangements for party conference."

A serial prankster, Brodkin made a name for himself with a stunt at a press conference when he showered scandal-hit Fifa President Sepp Blatter with money.

READ MORE: Who is the prankster who targeted Theresa May?

He also disrupted the then-US presidential candidate Donald Trump at a Turnberry ribbon-cutting ceremony by attempting to hand out golf balls with a swastika printed on them.

However, yesterday's security breach

The security breach, together with a persistent coughing fit and letters falling off the main campaign slogan on the screen behind Mrs May, overshadowed the thrust of the PM’s keynote speech, which saw her:

*dedicate her premiership to “renewing the British Dream”;

*apologise for the snap General Election campaign;

*pledge to introduce a price cap on “rip-off” energy bills;

*promise £2 billion extra for affordable housing

*announce a shift towards presumed consent for organ donation in England and

*declare that the election saw support for SNP ebb away and the “case for a second referendum in Scotland denied”.

Reports that Mrs May, who was comforted by husband Philip after the speech, was in tears have been denied by No 10.

Nicola Sturgeon, who addresses the SNP conference, next week, tweeted: “Spare a thought for those of us still to deliver our conference speech and now fretting about all the things that could go wrong ??#SNP17.”

After the calamity-laden speech, the PM’s Cabinet colleagues rallied round their leader.

Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, said he believed the speech showed a "great sense of duty", adding she "did really well" to cope with a persistent cough and a prankster waving a P45 unemployment notice in her face.

Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, declared: "It was a fantastic speech from a Prime Minister at the top of her game."

Paul Masterton, the MP for East Renfrewshire, who was among the MPs selected to speak on the main stage before Mrs May's arrival, described the speech as “eventful,” adding: "It was a clear reminder why she's the right person to be taking the country forward; a stinking cold, some idiot at the stage halfway through and she did what leaders do."

Fellow Tory backbencher Mark Pritchard noted how colleagues had texted each other about the PM’s calamity-ridden address but warned them: "There is no vacancy at No 10."

HeraldScotland:

Ian Blackford, the SNP leader at Westminster said: "Theresa May's speech, beset with problems and protests, proved the 'British dream' is a Tory nightmare for families and communities hit by years of endless austerity, cuts and low economic growth.”

Jon Trickett for Labour said: "This was supposed to be the speech where Theresa May relaunched her flailing premiership but it only confirmed her failure.

"She admitted Britain faces great problems but all she has to offer are watered-down versions of Labour's ideas, reheated policies, and empty promises,” added the Shadow Cabinet minister.

Meanwhile, the PM tried to laugh off her persistent cough, which had dogged her speech, with a light-hearted tweet surrounded by cough medicine.

Her official Twitter account posted a picture of the text of her speech on a table surrounded by Strepsils cough sweets, Olbas Oil and a bottle of Covonia. The text alongside the picture simply read "*cough*".