The head of Oldham police division has quashed rumours that a pregnant woman was arrested for carrying a Union Flag through Oldham town centre.
Chief Supt Catherine Hankinson said no one was held on Saturday afternoon when the English Defence League (EDL) gathered. A video posted on the internet showed a woman being led by police towards a Tactical Aid Unit van after an altercation between two men.
The woman was holding a Union Flag and another flag Greater Manchester Police considered had a “highly-inappropriate” message. Many tweets then made incorrect claims that a pregnant woman had been arrested for carrying a Union Flag.
Chief Supt Hankinson said: “Police became aware that a number of people had gathered in Oldham town centre who were shouting and had flags, some of which were provoking passers-by. Officers saw that a woman had a Union Flag and another flag which in our view was solely designed to further inflame tension. This woman was taken to one side and the second flag was taken from her. At no point was she arrested, nor did she have her Union Flag confiscated.”
The Chronicle understands around 50 members of the far-right group gathered close to High Street, in Oldham, for a short period of time and then dispersed.
This the second EDL-inspired rumour that Oldham police have had to quash. Last week the EDL claimed that local Muslims had taken to the streets to celebrate the killing of Lee Rigby.