Police investigate banner demanding Tory deaths to ‘level the playing field’

Labour mayor says sign is ‘completely unacceptable’

Zamira Rahim
Monday 30 September 2019 12:25
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The banner was hung over the River Irwell
The banner was hung over the River Irwell

Police are investigating after an anti-Conservative banner was hung up in Manchester, accompanied by hanging effigies.

As delegates arrived in the city for the annual Tory party conference, protesters hung the banner on a bridge in Salford, with the dummies suspended beneath it.

“130,000 killed under Tory rule,” the sign read. “Time to level the playing field”.

“Police are investigating after a banner was displayed on a bridge over the River Irwell during the Conservative Party conference,” a Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said.

Kerry Boyd, a Conservative councillor from Kent, spotted the sign when she went for a pre-conference run in Peel Park. “Does this classify as death/terrorist threat?” she asked on Twitter. “Utterly vile.”

The banner has since been taken down by Salford council.

Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, said the sign was “completely unacceptable”.

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, described it as “totally outrageous”.

The banner incident comes after delegates were greeted with a similar sign saying “Hang the Tories” when the conference was held in the northern city in 2017.

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At the time, Conservative MP Michael Fabricant shared an image of the sign, which was also draped over a bridge and featured a hanging effigy.

He said: “What a charming welcome to Manchester and the Conservative Party conference. These aren’t protesters, they’re fascists.”

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