Controversial DSEI weapons fair to begin at ExCel today

Demonstrators outside the ExCel

Demonstrators outside the ExCel - Credit: Archant

A controversial arms fair is set to begin at the ExCel today.

The Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEI) weapons fair is to attract thousands of buyers across four days.

Protesters from a number of campaign and faith groups have been demonstrating against the fair since Monday.

Kat Hobbs, from protest group Campaign Against Arms Trade, said: it’s a scandal that the UK government is rolling out the red carpet for some of the most brutal regimes to come and shop for weaponry.”

The DSEI fair takes place at the ExCel every two years and this year’s edition is expected to have about 30,000 visitors.

There will also be around 1,500 companies from across the world showcasing land, air and sea products including rifles and tanks.

A spokesman for DSEI said: “DSEI fully respects the rights of all individuals and groups to engage in lawful protest, and we have always accommodated a number of such groups that wish to make their views known to our attendees in a peaceful manner - this year is no different.”

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