Five arrested after Iain Duncan Smith ‘hit on head with traffic cone’

Five people have been arrested after Iain Duncan Smith was allegedly hit on the head with a traffic cone during the Conservative party conference.

Greater Manchester police (GMP) said it arrested three men and two women after reports that the former Tory party leader was pursued and attacked at around 4pm on Monday.

Duncan Smith claimed he was pursued while walking to a Brexit talk on the fringes of the party conference in Manchester.

He was believed to be walking to the Mercure Manchester Piccadilly hotel where he was due to give a talk with the Brexit minister, David Frost.

Duncan Smith told the Spectator magazine: “I can’t tell you very much other than they just followed us, used abusive language, attacked us and used a cone.

“I have to say I would have very nearly been done for assault myself. I turned after them and they sort of backed off and I dropped the 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.”

A video posted to Twitter said to be filmed after the cone incident shows Duncan Smith being followed down the street as someone shouts “Tory scum” to the banging of a drum.

Duncan Smith added: “I threw the cone on the ground, said ‘pathetic’ and turned and walked off. They were incoherent, they were stupid.”

A friend of Duncan Smith’s told PA Media he was walking with his wife, Betsy, at the time and escaped without injury. GMP said officers were at the scene on Portland Street within three minutes, after receiving reports of an assault, and that those arrested remained in custody.

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