29/09/2019 12:47 BST

Banner And Effigies Hung On Salford Bridge As Tory Conference Gets Underway

A similar banner was strung up in Salford during the last Conservative conference in Manchester in 2017.

PA Wire/PA Images
Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre.

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.