Thursday, 6 Aug 2020

Anger at effigies and sign demanding death of Tories to ‘level playing field’

A banner calling for the deaths of Tories to "level the playing field" for "130,000 deaths" under the Tories has been condemned.

The sign, which was accompanied by effigies, was put up on a bridge in Salford as the Tory Party conference begins in Manchester.

The image was also tweeted out by Manchester Momentum, the pro-Corbyn wing of the city’s Labour party. 

They tweeted: “Good morning @Conservatives. Welcome to Manchester.” 

The tweet was later deleted.

Nobody has, as yet, claimed responsibility for the sign.

It is the second Manchester conference in a row at which a banner with effigies has been hung in protest at the Tories gathering in the city.

Some suggested it amounts to a death or terror threat.

One delegate from Kent, Kirsty Boyd, tweeted of the latest one: “Never have I felt more apprehensive than seeing this in my morning run pre #CPC19.

“Does this classify as death/terrorist threat? Utterly vile.”

Her comment was meant with replies underneath describing it as ‘NOT acceptable’ and urging her to report it to the police.

Others highlighted the fact threatening language is swirling on both sides of the political divide.

Former Labour MP Gavin Shuker said: "What is wrong with people? Seriously. Big asymmetric incentive problem here: the politicians that fuel this stuff keep getting rewarded; those of us that don’t get punished. Soon there won’t be any of us left to condemn it."

Another, London councillor Gary Stevens, noted that it hardly fits with Labour ’s ‘kinder, gentler politics’ slogan.

The figure refers to an estimate by a think tank which claims the Conservative policy of austerity resulted in the deaths of 130,000 people

It is understood Salford council is now moving to get it removed.

The banner follows  a similar one put up when the Conservatives were last here in 2017  , which read ‘hang the Tories’ and also featured dummies hanging below.

That was condemned at the time by Tory delegates and local Labour figures, including Manchester Central’s MP Lucy Powell.

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