Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

BNP cancels annual national rally

Protesters clash with police during the BNP's Red, White and Blue festival in Derbyshire last year

The BNP's controversial Red, White and Blue Festival has been cancelled this year, the party has confirmed.

The rally has been held in Codnor, Derbyshire, for the past few years, sparking a significant policing operation.

At last August's event a total of 19 people were arrested after around 1,500 anti-fascist demonstrators from across Britain joined a protest march near the site.

The police operation involved more than 500 officers on the ground.

The previous year around 30 anti-BNP protesters were arrested after clashes with police.

The BNP has confirmed it will not return to the site.

A spokesman said: "In fact, there will be no national BNP Festival this summer, however key BNP activists will be taking part in team building events and localised social events.

"In making the decision the BNP leadership took into account information made available by one of our local councillors regarding the underfunding of Derbyshire Police which threatened counter-terrorism measures. In 2008 counter-terror measures cost around £3 million."

The spokesman said the issue of diverting resources away from counter-terror operations to supervise protests was a "key consideration" in the decision not to hold the festival.

He said another factor was that Alan Warner, owner of the Codnor-Denby Lane site where the festival is usually held, had continued farming activities, adding: "It is illegal to hold the festival on land that's not been free of agricultural animals for more than three months."

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