Huge police presence in Leeds city centre as officers battle to control protesters

Police battled to keep pro-Tommy Robinson supporters and 'anti-fascists' apart in City Square
Police battled to keep pro-Tommy Robinson supporters and 'anti-fascists' apart in City Square
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There was a huge police presence across Leeds today as officers battled to control three major protests.

Protests by pro-Tommy Robinson supporters, Anti-Brexit campaigners and a 'Lesbian Strength March' all coincided on Saturday - when the city centre was already heaving.

Police leading the pro-Tommy Robinson supporters as they march through Leeds city centre

Police leading the pro-Tommy Robinson supporters as they march through Leeds city centre

Buses were delayed and traffic was held up in the city centre as police tried to keep counter-protesters apart.

Here is how the three protests unfolded.

11.15am Pro-Tommy Robinson march

Supporters of Tommy Robinson gathered at 11am in City Square, protesting against his imprisonment for breaking the law of Contempt of Court.

An anti-Brexit rally was held outside Leeds Art Gallery

An anti-Brexit rally was held outside Leeds Art Gallery

They were met by a counter-protest lead by 'anti-fascist' groups.

The two groups were separated by police on either side of the square and threw chants and insults at each other, as officers battled to keep them apart.

A number of Tommy Robinson supporters tried to run over the road to confront the 'anti-fascists', but were quickly moved back by police.

At 11.15, the pro-Tommy Robinson supporters marched through the city centre, but there were no road closures as police largely kept the group to the pavement.

The group marched along Boar Lane, Duncan Street, New Market Street, Vicar Lane, The Headrow, Park Row and then back to City Square.

They again exchanged insults with the anti-fascist supporters but police kept the groups apart, before they eventually dispersed.

Watch the moment that Tommy Robinson supporters and anti fascists clash in Leeds city square.

2pm Lesbian Strength March

At 2pm a 'Lesbian Strength March' was held on City Square.

Lesbian women travelled to Leeds from across the country for the protest and said they were fighting for a 'visible lesbian presence' on the streets.

The group marched through Leeds before gathering at a rally in the city centre.

Counter-protests organised by trans-rights activists gathered to oppose the march, arguing that the 'Lesbian Strength' protest incited hatred against transgender people.

Police separated the two groups and kept them at a distance as they marched through the city centre.

There was far less policing for these protests and the campaigners remained peaceful - using banners and placards to express their views.

-> More counter-protests in Leeds as 'Lesbian Strength' and trans rights groups gather in City Square
3pm Anti-Brexit conference and rally

Two Anti-Brexit events also took place in the city centre today.

Remainer MPs, MEPs and writers gathered at a conference at the Met Hotel, which ran from 10.45 to 4.45.

At 3pm, a separate Anti-Brexit rally took place on The Headrow, outside Leeds Art Gallery.

The 'defend democracy' rally was to campaign against Boris Johnson's plan to prorogue parliament.

Police surrounded the rally and moved on any counter-protesters who tried to confront the Anti-Brexit campaigners.

-> Anti Brexit campaigners protest in Leeds as Remainer MPs gather at conference