Protests will go on in resort

Casuals United campaign outside Mr Beanz in Blackpool
Casuals United campaign outside Mr Beanz in Blackpool

A CONTROVERSIAL pressure group say they are determined to stage a national protest in Blackpool despite police attempts to deter them.

The head of the English Defence League met with Blackpool Police chiefs yesterday after announcing they would protest against children allegedly being groomed for sex in the resort.

Tommy Robinson, head of EDL, said the police have tried to persuade them to delay the demo until road works in the town have finished.

He said: “They don’t want us to protest here, they don’t want us to do it until at least September.

“But we can see a perfect spot for our demo. We’re still coming. We need maximum support for what is happening here. It’s a local issue that needs highlighting.”

Investigation

The group have, however, now decided to change the date from May 14 to May 28.

EDL say their entire membership is supporting the event after it was reported at least 60 school girls were groomed for sex by workers in town centre takeaways.

The reported was connected to the investigation into the disappearance of 13-year-old Charlene Downes.

Mr Robinson added: “We understand there is a big football match on so we are willing to change the date. We are willing to work with the police but there is no reason why the roadworks can stop us holding a demo.”

The group are planning to march down the Promenade towards North Pier.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “We’re aware EDL were talking about holding an event in Blackpool on Saturday, May 14 and will be meeting with them to discuss that date, what they were intending and potential venues. That particular Saturday is a busy day for we will be asking them to consider other options.

“Neither the constabulary nor the local authority has the power to ban a demonstration although conditions can be set around times and numbers.

“At present nothing has been agreed or approved and we will work to ensure these events pass off peacefully and with as little disruption as possible.

“We’ll, of course, be working very closely with Blackpool Council and other partner agencies throughout.”