English Defence League march through Newham is banned

A march planned by the English Defence League to march through five London boroughs including Newham were last night blocked by the home secretary, Theresa May.

The group wanted to demonstrate in Tower Hamlets, Newham, Waltham Forest, Islington and Hackney next Saturday September 3.

The Metropolitan Police feared there could be violence and disorder if the march went ahead.

Mrs May said such rallies would be banned for 30 days to reflect the need to protect “communities and property”.

Stephen Lennon, league’s founder, said his organisation would “still show up” in Tower Hamlets..

A statement on the EDL’s website said the decision was “restricting our democratic right to peaceful protest”.

“Nowadays, the anti-extremism aims of our organisation are clear, and there is no reason to think that an EDL demonstration would contain any dangerous elements,” it added.

Most Read

Mrs May said in a statement: “Having carefully considered the legal tests in the Public Order Act and balanced rights to protest against the need to ensure local communities and property are protected, I have given my consent to a ban on all marches in Tower Hamlets and four neighbouring boroughs for a 30-day period.”

She added: “I know that the Metropolitan Police are committed to using their powers to ensure communities and properties are protected,” she added.

The Met said it had received “specific intelligence” which led it to believe that “serious public disorder, violence and damage could be caused by the presence of marches in these areas”.

Banning the rallies was “this is the best option to prevent this”, it added.