SALFORD'S deputy city mayor has criticised the hanging of two effigies from a bridge in Salford.

The figures, representing under-fire government aide Dominic Cummings and businessman Sir Richard Branson, are accompanied by a painted banner which says: ‘Make the rich pay for covid-19’.

Some social media users branded the stunt ‘unacceptable’, while Salford’s deputy mayor said that the images would be removed ‘at the earliest opportunity’.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the effigies on the bridge over the River Irwell in lower Broughton.

Salford’s deputy city mayor John Merry – a local ward councillor – said the figures were "totally unacceptable".

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I’m shocked by this protest, using such violent imagery is totally unacceptable.”

“Young children and vulnerable people make their way past this bridge on a daily basis and to see two hanging effigies is completely inappropriate and even dangerous.”

“I am all for people making a political point, but in a democracy that has to be done in a way that respects the rights of others and the sanctity of life.”

“We will be removing the effigies at the earliest opportunity.”