EDL Tower Hamlets rally costs police £2 million
Categories: Latest News
Friday November 08 2013
The Daily Mirror reports that an English Defence League rally in Tower Hamlets in September cost the local police force over £2 million after 3,000 extra officers had to be drafted in to control just 600 EDL members.
The march through East London in September was countered by a Unite Against Facism protest attracting around 3,000 people in a tremendous display of solidarity.
Tower Hamlets mayor, Lutfur Rahman, said the action was needed to “ensure the safety of residents”.
He added: “policing the EDL march is further evidence to support my belief that they should not be allowed to take place.
“A large amount of taxpayers’ money was required to ensure the safety of residents.”
Mayor Rahman had previously called on the home secretary, Theresa May, to ban the protest citing public security concerns.
In an open letter, signed by all major trade unions, anti-fascists, many MPs and local leaders from different religious groups, the home secretary was urged to ban the EDL and stop them bringing their “message of hate to our borough”.
However, Theresa May refused to ban the march and the two groups subsequently clashed leading to several arrests including that of ex-EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson).
Several local councils around the country have argued for policing budgets to be spent more wisely than diverted to the cost of policing far right demonstrations.