Four arrests made at EDL Leeds demo

Have your say

Four arrests were made at a Far Right demonstration in Leeds.

A huge police operation involving over 100 officers swung into action on Saturday (May 4) as the English Defence league marched through Leeds’ Lingfield estate - at the invitation of residents angered after the go ahead was given to plans to turn a derelict pub into a Muslim-run community centre.

A counter demonstration by Unite Against Facism, which attracted around 120 people, was kept apart from the EDF by dozens more officers.

Marchers were tightly contained by officers, more than dozen riot vans, two police horses and police dogs, after setting off from the nearby pub The Penny Fun, where they had been bussed in from the train station, after arriving from cities including Coventry and Newcastle.

Julian Marshall, a member of Lingfield Residents’ Association, said: “There were so many objections against it, not because it is a race issue, but there’s less than three per cent Muslim population on the estate.

“I wish it hadn’t come to this. It seems we have been completely and utterly betrayed by the council.”

But teacher Dave Goodfield, who took part in the counter protest, said: “We are trying to show this is a peaceful society and mixed neighbourhood and nobody resents the idea of a Muslim community centre in this area.”

Police said the protest had passed off largely peacefully. Supt Martin Snowden said the arrests were made for offences including being drunk and disorderly and minor public order.

The rally came days after six men pleaded guilty to a failed plot to blow up a similar demonstration in Dewsbury last year.

Carl DAmmassa, Group Managing Director  Business Finance, Aldermore

Aldermore supports more than £1bn of asset finance to UK businesses in 2017