Embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May promised to restore the "British Dream" Wednesday, in a nightmare speech that saw her plagued by a cough and interrupted by a prankster, while parts of the backdrop fell down as she was speaking. In a mishap-prone Conservative Party conference address, May vowed economic help for struggling families for whom "the British Dream that has inspired generations of Britons feels increasingly out of reach." But a speech intended to strengthen her tenuous grasp on leadership was chaotically interrupted by a comedian who handed May the British equivalent of a pink slip, the AP reports. The party says it is reviewing security after the breach.
May needed a strong speech to help fight off rivals to her job, including ambitious Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. But things did not go to plan. May struggled with a cough and a hoarse voice that forced her to pause repeatedly. Midway through the speech a prankster walked up and handed May a P45—the form given to people being laid off in Britain. As he was bundled away by security, the joker—identified in media reports as comedian Simon Brodkin—said "Boris told me to do it." As May neared the end of her televised speech, two letters fell off the slogan on the wall behind her—"Building a country that works for everyone." (Read more Theresa May stories.)