Activists unfurl ‘time to level the playing field' banner ahead of Tory conference

29 September 2019, 14:06 | Updated: 29 September 2019, 15:54

Manchester Momentum shared a picture of the banner on Twitter
Manchester Momentum shared a picture of the banner on Twitter. Picture: Twitter

By Asher McShane

A banner threatening to ‘level the playing field’ after ’130,000 deaths’ has been unveiled in Manchester ahead of the Conservative Party conference.

The large banner also featured effigies of two bodies hanging with a noose around the neck.

Manchester Momentum tweeted a picture of the banner, writing online: “Good morning Conservatives, welcome to Manchester.”

The banner’s message reads: ‘130,000 killed under Tory rule, time to level the playing field’

No-one has come forward to claim responsibility for the banner.

The message was described as “utterly vile” by passers-by. Andy Burnham said the message was ‘completely unacceptable’

The banner was taken down by Salford Council. Police said they were investigating whether a crime had been committed.

The banner was unfurled before hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Manchester.

A giant Boris Johnson blimp was inflated at Castlefield Bowl ahead of a Reject Brexit - Defend Our Democracy event on Sunday afternoon.

The six-metre tall inflatable depicted the Prime Minister dressed in blue shorts with red hearts and the word "Nigel" on, and a T-shirt showing a £350 million bus.

Demonstrators gathered on Oxford Road at about midday for a Shut Down the Tories event before marching through heavy downpours to Deansgate, where a rally was due to be held.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner was among those heading the march, holding a banner saying "No More Austerity".

Others held placards saying "Tories Out" and "Defy Tory Rule".

Marchers banged drums, blew whistles and chanted "Tories out" and "Boris Johnson, shame on you" as they made their way through the city, pausing as they passed near Manchester Central, where the conference is being held.

Roads through the city were closed by police as the march took place and mounted officers led the demonstrators.

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