Bolton Town Hall Lobbys Home Secretary To Ban

EDL Rally Later This Month.

TOWN hall chiefs
have this week sent an appeal to Home Secretary Alan Johnson asking him to ban the proposed English Defence League rally later this month.The two-page letter, signed by political, civic and faith leaders on Bolton Vision letter-headed paper, was sent to the Home Office on Monday.Bolton Council’s legal department has spent a fortnight putting the proposal together.

Copies of the council motion — which was unanimously passed last week — and a statement signed by the Bishop of Bolton, the Rt Rev Chris Edmondon, on behalf of the Bolton Faith Leaders Forum were included in the appeal, as was a copy of the One Bolton Pledge, which was launched on Saturday and promotes community cohesion.

Mr Johnson, as Home Secretary, is the only person with the power to stop static demonstrations such as that planned by the EDL for Bolton on Saturday, March 20.

The signatories of the letter state they do not want to prevent freedom of speech or freedom of assembly by asking for the rally to be banned.

They say past EDL events, such as those in Manchester and Stoke, have led to outbreaks of violence and disorder and that they want to prevent that happening in Bolton.

Sean Harriss, Bolton Council chief executive, said: “This has the full support of all the party and faith leaders and we are hoping for a positive response from the Home Secretary.

“We will also be seeking a meeting with Alan Johnson, or his representatives, so that we can put forward our case in person.”

Bolton Against Racism has already announced it plans to hold a “celebration of unity” event on the same day.

According to a number of websites, protesters against the rally, plan to arrive in numbers from as far away as Aberdeen and Dover, as part of a counter-demonstration.

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