View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. UK Politics
5 October 2015updated 02 Sep 2021 5:08pm

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.

By Stephanie Boland

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:

Content from our partners
Unlocking the potential of a national asset, St Pancras International
Time for Labour to turn the tide on children’s health
How can we deliver better rail journeys for customers?

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.