Breaking: Beds Police applies for injunction to ban Britain First leaders from Luton

Britain First stage a march through the streets of Rotherham in October
Britain First stage a march through the streets of Rotherham in October

Beds Police has applied for an injunction to ban Britain First leaders Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen from Luton ahead of the far-right group planned demonstration through the town on Saturday.

The Luton News understands that, if successful, the injunction would last a year and would prevent the pair from entering Luton “and its surrounding area”.

It would also stop Golding and Fransen from entering mosques and Islamic centres in England and Wales without prior written invitation.

Three weeks ago the pair made an unannounced visit to Bury Park, where they claim they suffered ‘abuse and violence’ from men on the streets.

Footage of the driveby shows Paul Golding shouting “This is our country, why don’t you go back to your own country?” to one man and “Go back to the desert” to another.

Golding and Fransen are also seen holding Christian crosses and a banner which reads “Britain First No More Mosques” outside Bury Park Jamie Masjid.

The injunction application will be heard at the High Court on Friday, just a day before Britain First are due to demonstrate in Luton.

The application submitted by the force contends that the protest would be “highly provocative” due to its timing on the same day as the ‘Luton in Harmony’ community event.

It adds: “(The march) will also take place during the Holy Month of Ramadan. There is significant fear that this march, led by the respondents (Golding and Fransen), will cause major disruption and serious public disorder.”

Chief superintendent David Boyle said: “The force has worked with Luton Borough Council and our communities and we are committed to minimise the disruption to residents and businesses in the town.

“We respect the right for peaceful protest however, must also be mindful of the impact on our communities. As a result we have decided to place restrictions on the procession to ensure we recognise and meet the needs of all parties affected.

“There will be a police presence in the town on the day and we hope the event is peaceful.

“We would ask people, where possible, to go about their daily business as usual and would like to thank them in advance for their co-operation and understanding.”

Cllr Jacqui Burnett, Luton Borough Council’s executive member for social inclusion and community cohesion, said: “It is very regrettable that yet again a group which is not welcome in Luton and which does not represent our town in any way is holding a demonstration here.

“While the law does not allow the council or police to prevent peaceful protest, we have both worked hard to ensure that the rights of the local community are also respected and people’s views heard.

“The council is committed to keeping residents of Luton fully informed about events, and ensuring that everyone will be able to go about their business as usual in the town centre on Saturday.

“Experience from similar demonstrations does suggest there is a risk that young people in particular, who are normally respectful and law-abiding, can unwittingly get drawn into activity during demonstrations that can result in criminal convictions, and we urge parents and young people to be mindful of this when deciding whether or not to join a demonstration.”