LOUD BANGS IN MANCHESTER CITY CENTRE AS GAS CANISTERS SET OFF

Police are warning people to avoid Piccadilly Gardens and the surrounding area while a demonstration takes place.

Eyewitnesses said smoke canisters and bottles were thrown as GMP officers in protective gear kept two groups of protesters and anti-protesters away from each other in Manchester city centre on Sunday afternoon.



Transport bosses also warned of ‘major disruption’ to buses and tram services.

The march is being led by former EDL leader Tommy Robinson. A counter protest is also being held.

GMP issued a statement on Twitter on Sunday, which read: “There is a demonstration taking place in Piccadilly Gardens this afternoon, please avoid the area if possible until protesters have finished.”

Officers from GMP’s City Centre division tweeted at 3.20pm: “Please avoid Piccadilly Gardens area, as a protest has turned nasty. Some disruption to public transport too.”

They added that anyone concerned should speak to officers at the scene or call 101.

Transport for Greater Manchester tweeted shortly before 2pm: “There is currently a major disruption in the city centre. Please avoid the centre if at all possible.

They later added: “Please check with your service provider for service updates due to a disruption in city centre. @StagecoachGM @FirstManchester”

more recommended stories