Five people have been arrested after former Tory party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith was allegedly assaulted by being hit on the head with a traffic cone.
The senior MP was pursued by chants of “Tory scum” on his way to a Brexit talk on the fringes of the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on Monday.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said three men and two women were arrested after reports of an assault at around 4pm on Portland Street.
Sir Iain was walking to the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel where he was involved in a talk with Brexit minister Lord Frost.
The Spectator magazine quoted Sir Iain as saying: “For half a second I was about to go up and punch them, I went forward and they all backed off – I nearly knocked them out, lost my rag.
“I can’t tell you very much other than they just followed us, used abusive language, attacked us and used a cone.
“They were shouting all along and then they smashed the cone on the back of my head and so I turned and grabbed the cone and looked at them and I took a pace towards them and they backed off. I threw the cone on the ground, said ‘pathetic’ and turned and walked off.”
Video posted to Twitter said to be after the cone incident showed Sir Iain being followed down the street as someone shouts “Tory scum” to the banging of a drum.
“F*** off out of Manchester you Tory scum,” one of the pursuers said.
A friend of Sir Iain said he was walking with his wife Betsy at the time of the incident and escaped without injury.
GMP said officers were on the scene within three minutes of receiving reports of an assault.
“There aren’t believed to be any serious injuries, and following a short foot pursuit three men and two women have been arrested in connection with it, and remain in custody for questioning,” a statement said.
“Inquiries are ongoing.”