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Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs urges Home Secretary to ban Football Lads Alliance from demos

PUBLISHED: 09:30 30 January 2018

Mayor John Biggs in call to Home Secretary to ban FLA from the East End. Picture source: Mike Brooke

Mayor John Biggs in call to Home Secretary to ban FLA from the East End. Picture source: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

The mayor of Tower Hamlets has written to the Home Secretary urging her to ban the so-called ‘Football Lads Alliance’ demonstrations from the area altogether.

Tower Hamlets Council in call to government to ban FLA from the area. Picture: Mike Brooke Tower Hamlets Council in call to government to ban FLA from the area. Picture: Mike Brooke

John Biggs’ letter to Amber Rudd stresses the council’s “deep concern” over planned demonstrations and also claims that the group’s banners have been displayed at football matches.

“The Home Secretary must look urgently at what can be done to ban their demonstrations,” the mayor said.

“People are concerned by the actions which seem intent on organising further demonstrations to antagonise communities.”

Around 50 supporters intending to march in October had travelled from Mile End Road to the starting point in Whitechapel, passing the East London Mosque.

‘Stand up to Racism’ campaign convenor Sheila McGregor. Picture source: Mike Brooke ‘Stand up to Racism’ campaign convenor Sheila McGregor. Picture source: Mike Brooke

Tower Hamlets ‘Stand up to Racism’ campaign convenor Sheila McGregor said: “The East End has a proud record of preventing fascist and far right groups marching through the area.

“We defend the right of people of all nationalities, colours and faiths to live together, so we have launched a petition to stop racist marches.”

Mr Biggs helped organise a petition with Bethnal Green & Bow MP Rushanara Ali to ban a march in Whitechapel by the English Defence League in 2011, when he was on the London Assembly.

It was presented to Scotland Yard with 25,000 signatures—and succeeded in getting the Met Police to ask the Home Secretary to ban the march.

Now as Tower Hamlets’ mayor, he wants to get a similar ban against Football Lads Alliance from the East End.

The FLA have been contacted for a comment.

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