The annual Conservative conference only kicked off on Sunday but photographs of the reception in Manchester suggest it has not had the best start.
As the fuel crisis, HGV driver shortages and concerns over Christmas supplies still dominate the headlines, it’s not surprising that critics of the Conservatives turned out en masse to undermine the party leading the country.
It began when Greater Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham mocked the photo the Tories shared to promote the conference, where prime minister Boris Johnson is walking alongside a London North Eastern Railway (LNER) train while “on the way to Manchester”.
The LNER does not go to Manchester.
Burnham’s tweet, “You’re on the wrong track” – which could have had a double meaning – had more than 40,000 likes.
Pubs in Manchester are conscious of the ongoing crisis too, with one sign mocking the shortage of fuel at petrol pumps – even as the government claim the issue is subsiding.
A sign outside its front door read: “Free litre of petrol with every pint.”
Organisers working with the Conservatives have not helped either.
Guido Fawkes’ reporter Christian Calgie spotted that the “Exit” at one of the conference was actually one seemingly recycled from a previous Labour conference – even though the opposition last held the annual conference in Manchester seven years ago.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been targeted over his green spending ahead of his first speech in the role on Monday.
Posters from Greenpeace and its collaborators have been dotted around Manchester in a bid to lobby the Treasury over its investment in green policies.
Johnson is also the target of another campaign poster in Manchester, as he was dubbed the UK’s “deadliest strain” in a reference to the coronavirus variants and his handling of the pandemic.
The poster included a quote from him allegedly from last November, which read “let the bodies pile high in their thousands”.
Workers involved with the British pig farming sector have started protesting outside the Conservative conference after the prime minister’s controversial remarks on the latest crisis within the food processing industry – up to 120,000 pigs might have to be slaughtered due to a lack of abattoir workers.
Speaking on BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show, Johnson said: “I hate to break it to you, Andrew, but I’m afraid our food processing industry does involve killing a lot of animals, that is the reality. Your viewers need to understand that. That’s just what happens.”
Campaigners pushing for a better asylum system in the UK also produced a spoof newspaper in honour of the Conservative party conference called “Metbo”, where it mocked Johnson’s promises to welcome refugees.
Protesters also gathered to pushback against the government’s funding of weapons towards both India and Israel, with the hashtag #KashmirBleeds.
Anti-Brexit campaigners have turned up in Manchester as well, protesting about what the reality of Brexit is really like in light of the fuel crisis and ongoing HGV driver shortages.
Some protesters were campaigning against the Conservative Party in general, dubbing the current government “not fit to govern”.
One particular sign referenced the Labour Party conference from last week, when deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner controversially described the Tories as “scum”.