Race hate arrest blogger has parade request turned down

He says mass march is 'God-given right'

A blogger arrested for inciting racial hatred last year has had his request to hold a St George's Day march rejected by Luton Borough Council.

Dunstable man Paul Ray was arrested last year by Bedfordshire Police for allegedly inflammatory comments made on his online diary website, Lionheart, and is currently on bail.

Last week he wrote to the force's divisional commander for Luton, Chief Supt Andy Frost, asking for permission to hold a parade in the town to mark St George's Day.

The request follows the cancellation of a Respect Our Troops march on Saturday, March 28, because of fears the event would be hijacked by right-wing extremists.

In his letter to Chief Supt Frost, Mr Ray said: "As you are well aware, there was a recent demonstration in the town centre that was cancelled by many people out of respect to Luton police, a demonstration the media falsely accused of being hijacked by fascists.

"Joining together on the streets is one freedom that is a God-given right as English men and women in our own country that cannot be removed from us by anyone."

But despite his entreaties, his application for the parade was turned down by Luton Borough Council, which decides which public events can go ahead.

A spokesperson for the authority said Mr Ray had provided scant information about the organisation of the event.