Far right party Britain First staged its second demonstration in a fortnight outside East London Mosque this Saturday.
About 15 protesters crowded around the steps of the mosque on Whitechapel Road at lunchtime on 12 March, waving crosses and St George and Union flags.
One of the demonstrators shouted: “My parents lived in this area before they were forced out by waves of mass immigration. This is still a British, Christian area.”
At the previous demonstration, on Tuesday 1 March, fewer than 10 Britain First members turned out to protest outside the mosque.
Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs is urging the police to investigate using legal powers to block future demonstrations by Britain First or “similar racist and Islamophobic groups who are seeking to provoke Muslim residents”.
Mayor Biggs said: “I have met with senior police commanders and urged them to consider all actions to prevent violence coming to our streets. Clearly this must include consideration of bans and injunctions.
“I unreservedly condemned these provocative acts, which are dressed up as a ‘passive protest’ but are clearly designed to provoke a reaction, obstructing local people from going about their lawful and proper business and increasing the risk of violence.”
He tweeted that he was taking “urgently” to police:
We r of course talking urgently w police, mosque, others. We dont have power to ban but we will solidly oppose them https://t.co/wlbd4mgSrq
— Mayor John Biggs (@MayorJohnBiggs) March 14, 2016
A spokesman for East London Mosque said: “Last Saturday’s provocations by far right group Britain First in front of the East London Mosque have caused community tensions to rise.
“Britain First have made numerous excursions into the borough over the past few years and every time they have sought to cause trouble, provoking the local community with their pernicious statements against Muslims.
“If Britain First are allowed to continue setting up protests within the borough, there is cause for massive unrest. We welcome the Mayor’s push to ban Britain First from returning.”
This story was updated at 5pm on Tuesday 15 March with a comment from John Biggs and at 12:51pm on Wednesday 16 March with a comment from East London Mosque.