Man hurt and 15 arrested after fight between English Defence League and local youths

A man was taken to hospital and 15 people arrested after a large fight in Whitechapel on Saturday, involving supporters of the English Defence League and local youth.

The EDL had held an organised march in Barking earlier in the afternoon which was met with a counter protest, and four people were later arrested. It is believed some EDL members travelled onto Whitechapel after the protest.

Police were called to Whitechapel Road just before 5pm on Saturday to reports of a large fight and a man suffering injuries. Bottles and other items were thrown during the fight involving several hundreds of people, according to police.

An ambulance was called to take the injured man to hospital. His injuries were said not to be life-threatening.

Police said the fifteen men were arrested in order to prevent a breach of the peace. They have since been released from police custody.

Officers from Tower Hamlets are investigating the assault and police said they were not aware of further injuries.

MP for Bethnal Green and Bow Rushanara Ali said: “I was out visiting constituents when I saw the police cars. As far as I could see, the police were doing their job. There were a lot of young people around but the police are very adept at handling these situations.

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“We’ve shown time and again that there is no place for groups like the EDL and the far right in Bethnal Green and Bow. There is no place for violence and hate in our community. What is important now is that we remain calm and don’t rise to the provocation from the EDL, who want to stir up unrest in our community.

“The police have reassured me that they will have an increased presence in the area.”