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Dozens join calls for Home Office to ban EDL Tower Hamlets march

15:07 21 August 2013

A fire cracker is let off during an English Defence League (EDL) demonstration at Aldgate Station in 2011

A fire cracker is let off during an English Defence League (EDL) demonstration at Aldgate Station in 2011

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Dozens of signatories have backed an open letter to the Home Office calling for a ban on far-right group the English Defence League’s planned march through east London.

The letter was signed by former London Mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone and Unite trade union general secretary Len McCluskey, among more than 50 other interested parties.

In the letter, the signatories express fears that the EDL intends to bring a “message of hate” to Tower Hamlets during the march, due to take place on September 7.

“Their protests invariably result in violence against property, the police, or local communities,” it says.

“We have real fears that the EDL presence will act as a catalyst for further violence, disorder and destruction of property. There must be no place for hatred in our communities.

“The home secretary must act, and act now, to ensure the EDL is not able to bring its tour of hate to the streets of east London on September 7,” the letter concludes.

Among other signatories are former canon of St Paul’s Cathedral Dr Giles Fraser, the Islamic Forum of Europe, and former secretary of state for international development Clare Short.

EDL leader Tommy Robinson – whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon - appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last week after he was chared with obstructing an officer during a “charity walk” at Aldgate in June.

Mr Robinson, along with co-leader Kevin Carroll, will now appear at the same court on September 11.

The proposed march is one of a series of demonstrations held by the far right group in cities across the UK this summer.

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