Arrests made at Britain First rally

TWO people were arrested, one for possession of a blade, as far-right group Britain First held a meeting in Wigan at the weekend.

Tensions rose as a number of anti-facist protesters confronted members at the rally, held at Park Lane Club in Bryn yesterday afternoon.

Britain First members and anti-facist demonstrators outside Park Lane club in Bryn.

Britain First members and anti-facist demonstrators outside Park Lane club in Bryn.

Police were on hand to keep order as a number of verbals were exchanged between Britain First and those outside.

Amongst those opposing the meeting were campaigners from Hope Not Hate with chants of “Nazi scum off our streets” hurled at the anti-muslim group’s members as they made their way into the club.

Before the meeting took place there was a stand-off just outside which threatened to blow over with Britain First leader Paul Golding (pictured) shouting “Britain First fighting back” before ushering his members inside.

Two of the protestors were arrested towards the end of the rally. Britain First released a statement incorrectly stating that a female Hope Not Hate Activist was taken away by police for racism.

Britain First Leader Paul Golding in Wigan

Britain First Leader Paul Golding in Wigan

However, GMP have since been confirmed that she was arrested for assault and criminal damage.

A male was also arrested for possession of a bladed article and for a section 4 public order offence.

Amongst those protesting was former Councillor Peter Franzen who condemned Britain First coming to Wigan, with the group previously stating their reason for the location being its “central position in the North West.”

“There wasn’t too much action from either side to be honest,” he said. “I felt a bit intimidated by some of the big bruisers.

“They were picking on a little woman who was taking photographs who the police arrested after she did little wrong.

“For me, I live locally, I’m against facism and I’m against racism. My dad was an immigrant and served with the allied fleet in the Second World War.

“I find it obnoxious that these people can come out and say they are standing for British patriots when what they stand for is hatred and racism.

“I was disappointed that no local councillors or MPs attended to voice their concerns.”