EDL march banned

Theresa May has accepted an application from the police to ban the EDL march.
Theresa May has accepted an application from the police to ban the EDL march.

By Phil Scullion

A planned EDL march for next week has been banned by home secretary Theresa May.

The march, which was to take place in ethnically diverse Tower Hamlets, had been opposed by residents who petitioned police.

Police then made an application to the home secretary for a ban, which she duly accepted.

Marches can only be banned following a direct request from the police to the home secretary.

Ms May said: "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.

"I know that the Metropolitan Police are committed to using their powers to ensure communities and properties are protected.

"We encourage all local people and community leaders to work with the police to ensure community relations are not undermined by public disorder."

The high-tension situation in the capital following riots earlier in the month almost certainly contributed to the home secretary's decision to ban the march, as it was seen as potentially divisive in London's multi cultural communities.

Far right campaigners the English Defence League are a controversial group with a particular focus on Islam.

However the decision to ban their right to march is unlikely to sit comfortably with civil liberties campaigners.


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