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Masked protesters chanting ‘oh Jeremy Corbyn’ hurl smoke bombs outside Tory party conference as police helicopter circles above

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Thousands of left-wing protesters carrying hate-filled banners branding the Tories ‘scum’ besieged the Conservative Party conference today.

Demonstrators carried a menacing banner showing leading Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg with an arrow shot through his head.

Firebrand union boss Mark Serwotka, the chief of the Public and Commercial Services Union, called for a general strike to bring down the government.

Masked anarchists shouted while Communists swarmed into the city centre proudly carrying the hammer and sickle flag.

Thousands of left-wing protesters carrying hate-filled banners branding the Tories ‘scum’ have besieged the Conservative Party conference today

Armed police have formed a ring of steel around the conference centre amid fears the protest will spill over into violence, while snipers are perched on rooftops nearby.

A £2million security effort has been thrown up around this year’s conference in a bid to avoid a repeat of two years ago, when Tory delegates and journalists were spat at and had eggs thrown at them.

Leading Labour MPs have urged protesters not to turn to violence while Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, said demonstrators must remain ‘respectful’.

Mr Serwotka called for a general strike on public sector pay to ‘bring the Tories down’, saying Tory policies were ‘literally killing people’.

Conservative cuts to health and safety regulations preceded the Grenfell Tower fire disaster, he told the crowd.

He said: ‘David Cameron told us he has slayed the health and safety monster, but we now know they slayed men and women and children as they slept in their houses.’

Today’s noisy demonstration ended peacefully.

It finished with speeches that were drowned out by the police helicopter overhead and steel bands amongst the crowd at Piccadilly Gardens.

Thousands spilled into the square carrying banners and flags, many from mainstream left groups including the Labour Party and Unite and the PCS unions, but also from groups including the Socialist Workers Party and the Communist Party.

The vast majority protested peacefully but one small group, clad all in black and covering their faces with masks, jeered at police lining the march route taunting, ‘go and catch some criminals’.

Police will remain on patrol as night falls and protesters disperse across the city centre, with 12,000 Tory delegates visiting the conference centre.