'Britain First are not welcome here' - Political parties and protesters oppose Britain First rally in Bromley High Street
PUBLISHED: 11:41 06 November 2017
More than 50 police officers were deployed at the event
Britain First were “draining police resources” when they held a protest in Bromley High Street on Saturday, the borough’s Labour leader has said.
The far-right political party announced a “persecuted patriots” rally, as leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, both from Penge, face orders to sign on at Bromley Police Station each week as part of their bail conditions.
Both have been charged with religiously aggravated assaulted regarding their alleged behaviour during the trial of three men and a teenager who were later convicted of rape.
Holding a rally outside Bromley Police Station, the party drew in a few dozen supporters between 12pm and 4pm raising Union Jacks outside the station.
When Bromley Times approached former Swanley BNP councillor Paul Golding for comment, we were escorted out of their public rally outside the High Street station and told “journalists cannot be here”.
Opposite the rally, just metres away outside Bromley South train station, more than a hundred people gathered from political parties, unions and groups including Unite Against Fascism.
Speaking at the event, Liberal Democrat representative Julie Ireland said: “Britain First are not welcome here.
“We are a united community, we are diverse and we’re inclusive, they shouldn’t be in Bromley, we don’t want them on our streets.
“We’re really proud that all of the key political parties in Bromley have come together in opposition, we’ve put aside our differences and we’re pleased that so many people have stood out in opposition.”
Protesters were heard cheering as Britain First’s rally drove away from the town centre at around 4pm, following a four-hour rally.
At least 50 Met Police and British Transport Police officers had been deployed to cover the incident, with six police liaison officers also at the scene.
Labour brought around 20 campaigners to the event, with borough leader Angela Wilkins and Marina Ahmad, who stood in Beckenham at the general election, both present.
Cllr Wilkins said: “The thing is these people who are part of Britain First’s protest need to realise they’re draining police resources.
“I’m not objecting to having extra police at this event because the public of Bromley need to be protected, but the point is, Britain First do not need to be doing this.
“It’s a self-gratifying process that costs the public money and causes other problems for people passing by.”