AROUND a dozen people gathered in Chester city centre in protest at the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.

Led by trade unionist and civil rights campaigner Ray McHale, they brandished placards and hung a banner beneath Eastgate that read 'Build Bridges Not Walls'.

The slogan has been used in similar protests across the UK and beyond in reference to Mr Trump's election pledge to build a wall to keep Mexican immigrants out of America.

Campaigners say his rhetoric and policies are divisive, with many outright accusing him and his new administration of racism, sexism and homophobia.

Pictures by Simon Warburton / NWN Media

One woman, who did not wish to be named, wore a cat mask in protest at the misogynistic language Mr Trump was once recorded using.

Other concerns focused on Mr Trump's potential relationship with China, Russia and the Middle East, and his attitude towards the environment and climate change.

Braving the chilly weather on Friday (January 20), the protesters told the Leader they wanted to unite people and raise awareness of the divisive atmosphere created by Mr Trump.

Mr McHale said: “We are here in solidarity with the thousands of people who who are protesting right now in America.

“We know we can't stop Donald Trump being inaugurated but we think we should express our concern about his attitude and his policies and their potential impact not just on America but on the whole world.”

Peter Rooney, a councillor on Cheshire West and Chester Council and current mayor of Ellesmere Port, also joined the protest.

“It's scary that this man has been voted into power,” he said. “However, he has been and we have to accept that. This doesn't mean that we shouldn't protest against the sort of policies he's going to pursue though.

“He's hoodwinked the American people into thinking he's not a politician but he is. Sitting in his golden tower he's certainly not a man of the people!”

City resident Sam Jones said: “The world is worried. He might not be as bad as everyone thinks but personally I have a feeling that he will be, and worse. It shouldn't be about hate and division, we should be working together as a world.”

And Terry Walsh, also from Chester, added: “Most of Trump's policies are quite nightmarish. I genuinely think he's a threat to world peace. Even the CIA are worried about him!”

Republican Mr Trump was due to become the 45th President of the United States at 5pm on Friday, replacing Democrat Barack Obama.