MP calls for ban on EDL protest

MP Mike Wood.(131034)
MP Mike Wood.(131034)

SPEN MP Mike Wood is calling for a far-Right protest in Dewsbury tomorrow to be called off.

He fears the protest could spark trouble which might spill over into nearby areas,

And parents in parts of Heckmondwike are being warned of possible trouble.

The English Defence League plans to protest between 1pm and 3pm in Dewsbury.

Mr Wood, MP for Batley and Spen, has told police that previous EDL demonstrations have led to crime and disorder spilling into neighbouring towns.

In a letter to chief constable Sir Norman Bettison he says: “Towns in the Spen Valley have suffered disorder and crime during and after EDL events.”

He said a demonstration in Cleckheaton in March led to more police having to be drafted in. Shops were attacked in Heckmondwike and there was disorder on public transport. “And this was a demo designed to show the EDL could behave in order to justify larger protests, such as the one planned for this weekend.

“The history of trouble, attacks and arrests must dispel any claim the EDL has to a legitimate right to protest and demonstrates the potential for trouble to spill over into Spen Valley.

“The last thing local businesses and residents need is to be footing the bill and dealing with the aftermath of yet another event staged purely to cause confrontation and division.

“The police should ban this protest and save us all the time, trouble and expense it will cause.”

In Heckmondwike, parents at some schools have been given early warning of the demo by text message.

There will be counter-demonstrations by United Against Fascism and the TUC and police are asking people to work with them to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum. Several hundred members and supporters of the groups are expected to attend.

Chief Supt David Lunn said: “I urge people not associated with the demonstrations to avoid them.” He said the EDL planned a static demonstration not a march.