Home secretary bans Telford EDL march

Boarding up in Wellington
Image caption Shopkeepers in Wellington have boarded up their premises

The home secretary has banned an English Defence League (EDL) march through a Shropshire town amid fears of disorder.

Theresa May said she had stopped the march in Telford to protect "communities and properties".

She said the ban would not stop an EDL presence in Telford on Saturday.

Telford and Wrekin Council had made the request under the Public Order Act on the advice of West Mercia Police.

Mrs May said: "I have given my consent to a ban on marches in Telford this weekend. It is clear that a ban is needed to ensure communities and properties are protected."

'Remain peaceful'

However, she said there would be a "significant number" of police deployed on Saturday.

"I encourage all local people to work with the police to ensure community relations are not undermined," she said.

Saturday's football match between AFC Telford United and Luton Town remains cancelled as a result of the planned march, with the fixture yet to be rescheduled.

Church Street in Wellington is to be the location of any protest by the EDL.

The council welcomed the ban but said security measures would remain in place.

Councillor Shaun Davies said: "People can be reassured that both organisations (police and the council) have the resources available and the experience to deal with any incidents on the day."

Chief Inspector Keith Gee of West Mercia Police said the ban did "not prevent any static assemblies taking place, which are still lawful provided they remain peaceful and we have no legal powers to prevent them".

He added: "We shall do everything possible to ensure that any assembly on Saturday remains peaceful and poses the least amount of disruption possible for those not involved in the assembly."

The EDL said it was going to Telford because "local people's voices deserve to be heard".

"We are not coming to Telford to inconvenience anyone, and we certainly do not intend to cause any trouble," a spokesman said.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites