Police were called to a BNP rally outside an Islamic community centre in St Helens. Members of the far-right group held banners and handed out leaflets outside the Iman Trust’s base on Elton Head Road, Sutton, last Monday (June 3).
The decision by the group to picket the centre has prompted concern among the wider community. Council leader Barrie Grunewald among those condemning the protest.
The Iman Trust, a registered charity, is based in a former residential property known as St Michael’s Mount – close to Sherdley Park and Sutton High Sports College. According to their website, the building is used both as the Islamic community centre for St Helens and Knowsley and for prayer as a mosque.
A police spokeswoman confirmed that the BNP demonstration was only attended by a handful of people and had passed off peacefully. She said: “There were no problems created and no reports of any issues. It was a peaceful protest which only lasted about two hours.”
A report on the BNP’s website read: “We decided it would be a good idea to inform the local residents what the building was being used for. The local police came down, and asked what the demo was for, but seemed happy to let us continue once we had informed them what our plans involved.”