George Galloway wants English Defence League march banned

George Galloway George Galloway MP tabled a Commons motion calling for the march to be banned

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Respect Party founder George Galloway has called for a march planned by the English Defence League in east London this Saturday to be banned.

The MP has asked Home Secretary Theresa May and Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to stop the event in Tower Hamlets.

He claimed the EDL wants to "whip up racial tension" against Muslims.

The Met has imposed conditions on the EDL and United Against Fascism, who are set to hold an opposing march.

Mr Galloway, a former east London MP, has tabled a Commons motion calling for the march to be prohibited.

Uphold rights

It says: "Tower Hamlets Council has voted to support a ban on the EDL marching and the directly-elected Mayor of Tower Hamlets has called for such a ban."

A Home Office spokesman said: "The Home Secretary can only ban a march following a formal application from the police.

"Any formal application would be carefully considered, subject to the relevant legal tests."

The Met said it will allow the march to go ahead but only between 12:00-15:00 BST, and it must only take place on this route: Queen Elizabeth Street, Tower Bridge Road, Tower Bridge Approach, The Minories and then into Aldgate High Street. It must not to go beyond the junction with Mansell Street.

The route prevents the EDL from entering the heart of Tower Hamlets, residential areas and religious premises.

The force said it had also imposed conditions on Unite Against Fascism, which is planning to hold a protest march.

A static assembly must only take place in Whitechapel Road between Whitechurch Lane and the East London Mosque and must be held 11:00-16:00.

Ch Supt Jim Read, from the Metropolitan Police Service, said: "We must also uphold the right to protest, it is a fundamental part of our society.

"The communities have made it clear to us the impact that groups expressing extreme views has upon them. We have listened to those concerns, and we will keep working with all our communities."

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