Police have removed a banner over a bridge in Salford that said “hang the Tories”, as people arriving for the Conservative Party conference reacted with horror and disgust.
The banner included two mannequins in suits hanging from nooses and red flag. Tory MP Mike Fabricant said of the people who hung it: “Those aren’t protestors, they’re fascists.”
Labour politicians also reacted with disgust, with Greater Manchester MP Angela Raynor calling it “disgusting”.
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said it was “just wrong,” adding: “We will always protect the right to protest but never threaten, abuse or incite violence.”
Former Labour candidate Kevin McKeever said: “This is disgusting. Totally unacceptable. This isn’t the USSR.”
Journalists too condemned the banner.
Police said they saw the banner at around 8.52am and arrived to remove it at 9.10am. The mannequins were not there when they arrived, a Greater Manchester Police spokeswoman said.
She added: “Following removal of the banner, police received a number of calls regarding the banner after people had seen the images which were on social media.
“We would like to reassure the public that any instances of inappropriate or offensive behaviour or material will be dealt with swiftly by our officers.”
The Tory Party confernce begins tomorrow at the Manchester Central convention centre and lasts until Wednesday.