Johnson blimp unveiled for protest at Tory conference

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Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets of Manchester as the Conservative conference gets underway.

A giant Boris Johnson blimp was inflated at Castlefield Bowl ahead of a Reject Brexit – Defend Our Democracy event on Sunday afternoon.

The six-metre tall inflatable depicted the prime minister dressed in blue shorts with red hearts and the word “Nigel” on, and a T-shirt showing a £350 million bus.

Demonstrators gathered on Oxford Road at about midday for a Shut Down the Tories event before marching through heavy downpours to Deansgate, where a rally was due to be held.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner was among those heading the march, holding a banner saying “No More Austerity”.

Others held placards saying “Tories Out” and “Defy Tory Rule”.

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A protester at Castlefield Bowl
A protester at Castlefield Bowl (Peter Byrne/PA)

Marchers banged drums, blew whistles and chanted “Tories out” and “Boris Johnson, shame on you” as they made their way through the city, pausing as they passed near Manchester Central, where the conference is being held.

Roads through the city were closed by police as the march took place and mounted officers led the demonstrators.

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