UK

Gabor Vona: Far-right leader's London talk cancelled

Gabor Vona speaks to a crowd in Hyde Park Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Gabor Vona spoke in Hyde Park after a planned event was cancelled

A meeting due to be held by a far-right Hungarian politician in London earlier was cancelled, police have said.

Gabor Vona, leader of the Jobbik Party, was expected to speak at an unknown location, but the event was scrapped and he spoke in Hyde Park instead.

"Dozens" of anti-fascist protesters met his supporters outside Holborn Tube station, where police held them apart, the Press Association (PA) said.

The Metropolitan Police said it did not request the event's cancellation.

The reason for the cancellation is not known, but police said they "assisted" Mr Vona and his supporters to assemble at an alternative location to "prevent a possible breach of order".

'Scuttling around'

Officers lined the entrances to Holborn Tube station and put up barriers to keep the two groups apart, and after more than an hour inside the station the Jobbik supporters returned to the Tube platform, PA reported.

It said Mr Vona then addressed "more than 100 Jobbik supporters" at Hyde Park.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Anti-fascist protesters gathered outside Holborn Tube station

The Met said no arrests were made.

On Twitter, Unite Against Fascism wrote: "After scuttling around London #Jobbik Vona pops up in rainy Hyde Park. No venue wants a fascist rally. So much for the master race."

London Assembly member and former Labour MP Andrew Dismore, who was part of a campaign asking Home Secretary Theresa May to prevent Mr Vona from entering the UK, joined the anti-fascist protesters at Holborn.

Image copyright Neturei Karta
Image caption Members of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect were also demonstrating

He said Mr Vona, founder of the now-outlawed Magyar Garda Mozgalom paramilitary guard, led the "most powerful outwardly fascist political party in Europe".

Speaking outside the Tube station, Mr Dismore said: "[The] Jobbik Party is a racist party which targets Roma, it wants to segregate them into ghettos, and it targets Jewish people."

Members of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect which is opposed to the existence of the State of Israel based on their interpretation of Jewish law, were demonstrating in support of Mr Vona.

Mr Vona earlier denied claims he planned to meet other far-right parties including the BNP while in London.

"This is a forum for Hungarian citizens," his spokeswoman said.

"This is not to do with anyone else."

Update 31 January 2014: An incorrectly captioned picture was removed from this story and replaced by one showing members of the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta, making clear they were demonstrating in support of Mr Vona.

More on this story