London

EDL planning static London demonstration after marching ban

The English Defence League plans to demonstrate in London despite a 30-day ban against marching.

The far-right group has told the Metropolitan Police it wishes to go ahead with a "static" protest in Tower Hamlets, east London, on Saturday.

It follows Home Secretary Theresa May's decision to impose a ban on marching in six London boroughs.

More than 3,000 officers will be available amid fears of violence and clashes with opposition groups.

While concern of unrest centres on Tower Hamlets, the home secretary has also banned marches in Newham, Waltham Forest, Islington, Hackney and the City of London.

'Minimising disorder'

Ch Supt Julia Pendry said it was the first time since the Brixton riots 30 years ago that police had requested powers to stop marches.

"Following the appalling disorder in London in recent weeks, it's important London, its communities and businesses, can return to normality," she said.

"We have not sought this power since 1981 - which shows how we do not take this lightly.

"As far as Saturday is concerned, both parties have requested a static demonstration and we will be negotiating with them suitable locations with the aim of minimising disorder."

Section 13 of the Public Order Act would allow a ban of up to three months, but the force has said it does not believe it appropriate.

The EDL has said that the ban on marching sends out "completely the wrong message".

They have insisted that a static demonstration will go ahead.

Civil rights group Liberty has criticised the ban and said it was a "serious" and "grave" move.

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