Labour councillor claims anti-EDL protest will ‘create a battleground on the streets of Grantham’

Grantham counter-protest

A district councillor has condemned the actions of those organising a counter-protest in Grantham later this month.

The Journal broke the news online yesterday (Monday) that John Morgan, husband of Labour district and county councillor Charmaine Morgan, is organising a demonstration on St Peter’s Hill against a protest by the English Defence League, which opposes the building of an Islamic Community Centre in Mowbeck Way, Grantham.

But Councillor Ian Selby has reacted in horror and believes any counter-protest, planned for Saturday, February 22, would be “playing into the hands of the EDL”, and could see women and children getting seriously hurt if protests turn violent.

He added: “I think it’s a horrendous idea. It’s downright stupidity and will create a battleground on the streets of Grantham. This is a matter for the police. We don’t want this on our doorstep, we want to be protecting our people and our community. I don’t think the Morgans know what they are doing – there’s potential here for clashes in the streets.”

Grantham Journal, 11 February 2014

See also “Proposed Islamic centre is at the heart of a double protest in Grantham”, Grantham Journal, 10 February 2014

Being unfamiliar with the political make-up of South Kesteven District Council, I first assumed that Selby must be a Tory or Liberal Democrat trying to make political capital out of attacking Labour activists. But it turns out that he is himself a Labour councillor. So Selby’s motives for denouncing the planned counter-protest are unclear. Perhaps he’s just one of those idiots who think that if you ignore the far right they will go away.

Update:  See “Councillor asks police to get English Defence League demonstration in Grantham banned”, Grantham Journal, 12 February 2014