‘I nearly knocked them out’, says former Tory leader as Jacob Rees-Mogg also confronted in street
Five people have been arrested after former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith was allegedly assaulted by being hit on the head with a traffic cone in Manchester.
Større Manchester-politi (GMP) said three men and two women were arrested after reports of an assault at around 4pm on Portland Street.
Mr Duncan Smith told Den uavhengige: “I was walking to a meeting outside the conference venue and these five morons started following me, banging drums and chanting ‘Tory scum’ and accusing me of being responsible for killing people and destroying the environment and so on.”
The MP added: “I had almost reached the place I was going to when one of them came running up with a heavy traffic cone and whacked me over the back of the head.
“It was quite a shock and I staggered forward but I wasn’t badly hurt – only a graze – but I was with my wife, which makes it more concerning. I turned round and told them they were pathetic, but they were already legging it.”
Sir Iain also told Tilskueren after the incident that he was “about to go up and punch them, I went forward and they all backed off – I nearly knocked them out, lost my rag”.
GMP said that officers were on the scene within three minutes after hearing 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 police statement said.
It came as a disability activist berated Jacob Rees-Mogg near the conference centre – accusing the senior Tory of being “just another Eton millionaire” who looks down on disabled people.
Dominic Hutchins, who has cerebral palsy, challenged the Commons leader on the government’s record on disability rights outside the Tory conference on Monday afternoon.
“I’m sorry you think that but I wish you well in your search for a job, I really do,” Mr Rees-Mogg responded.
The cabinet minister shrugged off abuse received from “socialists” – telling the Tory conference that “one of the joys of political life is winding up the left.”
Asked about Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner’s reference to “Tory scum”, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “Why should we mind about that?’
Han la til: “Here we are all together – we’re great people because we’ve been scum in the socialists’ eyes, but we make a success of it. As scum always does, we seem to rise to the top.”
Mr Duncan Smith said that he was not making any link between the abuse hurled at him and Ms Rayner’s use of the word “scum” to describe Conservatives at her party’s conference in Brighton last week.
The backbencher said he did not know whether the individual who attacked him was linked to any particular organisation, ordtak: “They were the same sort of people you see at any protest. These people are pathetic and just don’t understand what democracy is all about.”