Five people arrested after Sir Iain Duncan Smith allegedly hit on head with cone at conference

Sir Iain Duncan Smith

Police have made five arrests after former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith was allegedly attacked with a traffic cone.

The senior politician, a former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, was attending an event at the Conservative Party Conference in the city centre.

Greater Manchester Police said three men and two women have been arrested following the incident on Portland Street, and are being questioned.

Sir Iain was on his way to a fringe event at the Mercure Hotel to discuss Brexit when the alleged incident occurred.

He said the group verbally abused him then 'smashed' the cone on the back of his head.

"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," he told The Spectator.

"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.

"I threw the cone on the ground, said "pathetic" and turned and walked off. They were incoherent, they were stupid."

A statement from Greater Manchester Police said: "Police responded to an incident on Portland Street following reports of an assault at around 4pm today. Officers were on the scene within minutes.

"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. Inquiries are ongoing."