Politicians call for East Enders to stay away from EDL counter protests

After leading the campaign to ban the English Defence League marching through Tower Hamlets, the East End’s Labour politicians have now called for counter demonstrations to be called off.

The Home Secretary banned protest marching in Tower Hamlets for 30 days after a campaign delivered a 25,000 strong petition to the Metropolitan Police.

The EDL has indicated members and supporters will come to Tower Hamlets on Saturday regardless and hold a static demonstration and campaign group Unite Against Fascism has indicated they will gather to oppose the EDL’s visit.

The Advertiser reported earlier today how more than 3,000 police officers will be drafted in to help deal with any potential incidents.

Tower Hamlets Labour group leader Joshua Peck said: “It is important that residents stay at home and let the police deal with any visit by the EDL and they should be reassured that extra officers will be in place to help this weekend pass without incident.

“I would ask that anyone planning to hold or attend a counter demonstration reconsiders – the safest thing for everyone is to remain calm and let the police do their job.”

London Assembly member for City and east John Biggs said: “I know how strongly many people feel about this event. It is important that we react with dignity and restraint and trust the police to tightly manage the demonstration.

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“I have confidence that they are able and prepared to do so. What will destabilise this will be any outbreak of disorder.”

Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, said: “I urge people to remain calm and level-headed. I don’t want the EDL in my constituency in any form, but the best answer is to turn our backs on these people and let the police deal with them.”