Britain First to return for ‘knees up’ in town

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CONTROVERSIAL political party Britain First has been warned by local MPs that it is “not welcome” in Wigan after announcing plans to hold a second event in the town.

The far-right group will be hosting its “Britannia Ball” in the borough – but isn’t prepared to reveal its chosen venue.

Despite sending an invite out to their thousands of followers, bosses are keeping tight-lipped as to the exact location, the same way they did when they last came in July last year.

Amongst its description of the ball, organisers are describing it as having a “disco, buffet - and a good knees up”.

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy and Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue have both voiced their disapproval of the party using the borough as a meeting point though.

Ms Nandy said: “Wigan has a proud history of service in the armed forces and it is time Britain First stopped using the images of brave men and women in our armed forces, without permission, to incite hatred. If people want to show their backing for our soldiers, they should lend their support to Wigan Borough Veteran’s Council and the Royal British Legion instead.

“This country stood against fascism in the Second World War and those who use the memories of that golden generation to whip up bigotry and racism should be ashamed of themselves.

“We should never forget the lessons of history. Hatred and intolerance only lead to suffering and we are stronger as a nation because of our diversity. Britain First are not welcome in Wigan.”

Ms Fovargue added: “Britain First and all those who try to peddle a message of hatred, will find they have no place in Wigan.

“The Wigan community share values of respect for people and working together. All right thinking people will reject the views peddled by this nasty, far right organisation.”

Britain First has grown significantly in the last couple of years, using Facebook as a tool to spread its views about Islam and immigration.

There was a heavy police presence during their last visit, which was in the form of a meeting, at Park Lane club in Bryn.

Nobody from Britain First was available for comment with regards to the event but a post on their Facebook said: “Don’t miss our Britannia Ball in Wigan on Saturday, February 28.

“Come along and meet other patriots and let your hair down – entry is free.”

Last time the group was in town, it was met by a number of anti-facist protestors; two of whom were subsequently arrested.

One of those arrested was charged with assault but saw her trial collapse.

Former councillor Peter Franzen was one of those in attendance at the protest last year. He said: “Britain First’s so-called patriotic acts include invading and vandalising mosques and terrorising defenceless elderly Muslims. There should be no place for Britain First anywhere in Britain let alone Wigan.

“Their presence here in Wigan is an insult to the memory of all those true patriots who fought against the Nazis.”