Media 5 October 2015 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. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up 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: A protestor just came up and SPAT in my face. — Owen Bennett (@owenjbennett) October 4, 2015 Reporter @owenjbennett just been spat on. We're now backed into corner by angry protesters shouting he deserved it pic.twitter.com/0xasC65yF4 — Kate McCann (@KateEMcCann) October 4, 2015 Whether we were conservative MPs, journalists or just people (imagine!) it's not OK to be spat on. And yes, I know I work at the Telegraph — Kate McCann (@KateEMcCann) October 4, 2015 The man who allegedly spat at Bennett was detained by police at the scene, while other demonstrators appeared to protest his arrest. Protesters shouting @owenjbennett deserved it and calling for police to let go of the guy who spat in his eye pic.twitter.com/WsaGd4klwN — Kate McCann (@KateEMcCann) October 4, 2015 Anger not just at the idiot who spat at me, but the hordes of protestors who surrounded us and said I, as a member of the press, deserved it — Owen Bennett (@owenjbennett) October 4, 2015 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.” Chief Supt John O'Hare said: "Today around 60,000 people took part in a demonstration and I would like to thank them for their cooperation." — G M Police (@gmpolice) October 4, 2015 Ch Supt O'Hare said: "The overwhelming majority of people have exercised their democratic right to protest with dignity and good grace." — G M Police (@gmpolice) October 4, 2015 Ch Supt O'Hare said: "The fact that only four arrests have been made throughout the day so far was particularly pleasing." — G M Police (@gmpolice) October 4, 2015 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.” Singer and activist @charlottechurch says she will personally apologise to people spat on at #TakeBackMCR protests. https://t.co/hS2FxnAseS — Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) October 5, 2015 The harassment of journalists happened despite Jeremy Corbyn urging activists to "focus on policy" and avoid personal attacks: Ahead of Tory Conference I urge all activists to focus on policy & to take no part in personal attacks https://t.co/8UaTNpBgsr — Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) October 3, 2015 While Chris Bryant MP took the chance to address the day’s two burning issues in one: 1. Plastic bag charge works fine in Wales. 2. Nobody should be attacked intimidated or spat on going to a party conference. — Chris Bryant MP (@RhonddaBryant) October 4, 2015 › Sajid Javid's warning to bad businesses is another raid on Labour territory Stephanie Boland is head of digital at Prospect. She tweets at @stephanieboland. Subscribe For more great writing from our award-winning journalists subscribe for just £1 per month!