Arrests after UK Uncut protest in Manchester Santander

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Activists protesting against proposed changes to the NHS were arrested after briefly occupying a bank in Manchester.

Nine people were held on suspicion of breach of the peace after campaigners entered the city centre Santander.

Campaign group UK Uncut was staging a series of protests calling for the banks, rather than cuts to public services, to pay for the deficit.

The government said "every penny" saved by NHS efficiencies would be spent on front-line services for patients.

Activists targeted banks to highlight what they described as the injustice of "making people, not the broken banking system, pay for the economic crisis".

Members put on scrubs, bandages and fake blood for the protests - dubbed the Emergency Operation - which they claimed closed more than 40 banks across the UK.

NHS savings

A Department of Health spokesman said: "This government believes passionately in the NHS and is investing an extra £11.5bn over the next four years, a sign of the commitment to protecting it for the future, so there is no excuse to cut back on services that patients need.

"The plans to modernise the NHS will help to ensure that bureaucracy is cut and resources are reinvested into improving the quality of care for patients.

"Every penny saved from efficiencies, including savings of £1.7bn a year by 2014-15, will be reinvested into front-line services to improve quality for patients."

Greater Manchester Police said officers had arrested nine people inside Santander on Market Street, Manchester, on Saturday afternoon.

Protesters were inside for a short time before being detained, a spokesman said.

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