Protesters outside Tory party conference have been spitting on journalists

A small minority of activists have been condemned for harassing journalists at a TUC protest in Manchester.

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Several journalists claim to have been spat at by protesters outside Tory party conference in Manchester, during a 60,000-strong rally organised by the TUC to highlight its opposition to the Trade Union Bill.

Kate McCann of the Telegraph and Owen Bennett of Huffington Post both posted about the incident on Twitter:

The man who allegedly spat at Bennett was detained by police at the scene, while other demonstrators appeared to protest his arrest.

TUC general secretary Francis O’Grady called the man’s behaviour “unacceptable”.

However, Greater Manchester Police were quick to assure the public that, despite the large numbers attending the protest, the vast majority were peaceful: “The fact that only four arrests have been made throughout the day so far was particularly pleasing.”

Charlotte Church, who spoke at yesterday’s rally, has also condemned the actions of the “fringe parts” of the protest. “I plan to write an open letter on behalf of the majority of the people who protested that day to say we’re really sorry, and this isn’t what it’s about.”

The harassment of journalists happened despite Jeremy Corbyn urging activists to "focus on policy" and avoid personal attacks:

While Chris Bryant MP took the chance to address the day’s two burning issues in one:

Stephanie Boland is head of digital at Prospect. She tweets at @stephanieboland.