A banner calling for the “playing field” to be “levelled” in exchange for “130,000 killed under Tory rule”, alongside ‘hanging’ effigies, has been erected on a Salford bridge.
The protest banner has sparked a furious reaction as delegates pour into the area for this week’s Conservative party conference in Manchester.
The large sign, painted on white fabric, reads: “130,000 killed under Tory rule.
“Time to level the playing field.”
Two effigies can be seen hanging by their ‘necks’ on ropes below the bridge.
A picture of the banner was posted online by conference attendee and Thanet Tory councillor Kelly Boyd, who wrote: “Never have I felt more apprehensive than seeing this in [sic] my morning run pre #CPC19.
“Does this classify as death/terrorist threat? Utterly vile.”
The banner has prompted an outpouring of anger online, with many calling for a police investigation and claiming that the words used amounted to hate speech.
It is not known who is behind the banner, however it is not the first time a similar installation has sprung up in Manchester around the Conservative conference.
A banner which read “hang the Tories” was erected on another bridge during the party’s last visit to the city in 2017.
Manchester Evening News reported that a picture of the new banner was tweeted by Manchester Momentum on Sunday morning, with the caption: “Good morning Conservatives. Welcome to Manchester.”
The tweet has since been deleted.
The mayor of Greater Manchester has condemned the banner, describeing it as “unacceptable”
Andy Burnham, a former Labour cabinet minister and now mayor of Greater Manchester, said the sign was “completely unacceptable” and confirmed it was being removed.