Tower Hamlets mayor calls for legal ‘block’ of Britain First

Photograph: East London Mosque
Photograph: East London Mosque

Britain First has reprimanded Tower Hamlets’ Mayor John Biggs and reminded him of its democratic right to assemble and protest, after he called for the political party to be ‘legally blocked’ from holding provocative demonstrations in the borough.

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs met with police and Muslim representatives on Monday to discuss a legal response to a series of protests outside the East London Mosque.

The latest demonstration, held on Saturday, saw the group assemble outside the mosque on Whitechapel Road, with protesters carrying Union flags and ‘No More Mosques’ banners.

Mayor Biggs said he stood in “solidarity” with members of the Muslim community who feel threatened by Britain First.

“The hatred and division of Britain First has no place in Tower Hamlets,” said the Mayor. “We have agreed to pursue legal channels to try to prevent provocative demonstrations by Britain First and other groups.

Mayor Biggs announced that the council is pursuing a Community Protection Notice against the group, a measure that would “block behaviour that has a detrimental effect on quality of life”.

But Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, said the possibility of legal action was undemocratic and an example of “Islamic appeasement”.

“Mr Biggs and the Muslims of Tower Hamlets would do well to remember that Britain is a Christian country and millions fought, bled and died for Britons to live in a democracy,” she said.

“If they are not happy with our way of life – in which we are free to demonstrate – they should feel free to leave.”

In a letter sent to the East End Citizen last month, concerned residents of the borough, including Rushanara Ali MP, called on local people to “stand together to oppose those who seek to divide us”.

“We unreservedly condemn the actions of a small group of extremists who have recently come to the East London Mosque in an attempt to intimidate and provoke members of our community,” the letter stated.

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