Christopher Eccleston reads Riot Act at Peterloo event

The actor Christopher Eccleston has read out the Riot Act as part of commemorations of the 1819 Peterloo massacre, in which it is estimated between 11 and 18 people were killed.

During an era of industrial depression and high food prices, more than 60,000 people attended a protest rally in St Peter's Field, Manchester, on 16 August 1819.

Hundreds were injured when armed cavalry charged at the crowd.

Named Peterloo after the battle at Waterloo a few years earlier, it inspired the birth of The Guardian newspaper in Manchester and is now the subject of a forthcoming film from Oscar-nominated director Mike Leigh.

Playing the part of a magistrate alleged to have read the Riot Act to the original protesters, the former Doctor Who star proclaimed the order to disperse, from Manchester Town Hall.

Richard Smirke from BBC North West Tonight reports.

BBC News