Activists hang effigies from bridge alongside threatening banner ahead of Tory conference

A sickening banner threatening to ‘level the playing field’ after ‘130,000 deaths’ under Conservative rule has been unveiled on a bridge in Salford, with effigies hanging below it.

The message was revealed ahead of the Conservative party conference in Manchester which starts today.

A photograph of the banner and the two hanging dummies was tweeted about by Manchester Momentum who said: ‘Good morning Conservatives, welcome to Manchester.’

A sickening banner with effigies hanging below ahead of the Conservative party conference in Salford has been widely condemned

A sickening banner with effigies hanging below ahead of the Conservative party conference in Salford has been widely condemned

A sickening banner with effigies hanging below ahead of the Conservative party conference in Salford has been widely condemned

Manchester Momentum tweeted out an image of the banner and effigies and said: 'Good morning Conservatives, welcome to Manchester'

Manchester Momentum tweeted out an image of the banner and effigies and said: 'Good morning Conservatives, welcome to Manchester'

Manchester Momentum tweeted out an image of the banner and effigies and said: ‘Good morning Conservatives, welcome to Manchester’

In scenes reminiscent of the Channel 4 adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the message says: ‘130,000 killed under Tory rule, time to level the playing field.’

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, but this is disputed.

Neither Momentum nor anyone else has yet claimed responsibility for the sick stunt.

Salford Council has since removed the display and Momentum’s tweet was deleted.

Many on both sides of the political spectrum have expressed their outrage at the horrible message with some saying it amounts to a death threat.

Youth programme coordinator Kerry Boyd said: ‘Never have I felt more apprehensive than seeing this in my morning run pre #CPC19. Does this classify as death/terrorist threat? Utterly vile.’

Manchester’s Labour mayor Andy Burnham said: ‘It is completely unacceptable & is being removed.’

It comes just days after a row erupted in the House of Commons over the use of threatening and divisive language as MPs face death threats.

Boris Johnson today rejected criticism over his ‘surrender’ jibe at Remainer MPs today – saying he must be allowed to speak plainly.

The Prime Minister shrugged off claims he has been whipping up anti-establishment anger as he kicked off the Tory conference in Manchester.

He admitted there were real threats to politicians from extreme elements in society.

But he said it was ‘entirely legitimate’ to use ‘military metaphors’ such as the ‘Surrender Act’ to describe a rebel law designed to block No Deal.

On the BBC's Andrew Marr show, Boris Johnson said it was 'entirely legitimate' to use 'military metaphors' such as the 'Surrender Act' to describe a rebel law designed to block No Deal

On the BBC's Andrew Marr show, Boris Johnson said it was 'entirely legitimate' to use 'military metaphors' such as the 'Surrender Act' to describe a rebel law designed to block No Deal

On the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Boris Johnson said it was ‘entirely legitimate’ to use ‘military metaphors’ such as the ‘Surrender Act’ to describe a rebel law designed to block No Deal

MailOnline has contacted Momentum for comment. 

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