Belfast Telegraph

Britain First Belfast rally called off after snow hits travel plans

Controversial far-right group Britain First have had to call off a planned rally in Belfast.

It had been scheduled to stage a protest on Sunday in opposition to criminal charges taken against its deputy leader Jayda Fransen.

On the event's Facebook page, it called for people to: "Join us in Belfast to demand free speech for Jayda and for these charges to be dropped!"

A counter demonstration had also been scheduled for Sunday to take place at the same time.

The 31-year-old was arrested in the south-east London area of Bromley last month by detective from the PSNI and later charged with using threatening and abusive language at a rally outside Belfast City Hall during the August.

She has been bailed to appear at Belfast Magistrates' Court on December 14.

In a video posted on the group's Facebook page on Sunday morning by its leader Paul Golding said: "Unfortunately because of this snow storm that’s causing chaos at most UK airports, we are not going to be able to make it over to Belfast today. We’ve been stranded here at the airport."

Deputy leader Ms Fransen also appears in the video, and confirmed she will be in Belfast on Thursday for her court appearance.

The group is known for its social media presence, where it regularly posts anti-Muslim videos.

It came to greater notoriety after a number of unverified videos posted to social media by Ms Fransen were re-tweeted by US President Donald Trump.

The party was deregistered by the the Electoral Commission in November, which the Guardian says was for failing to confirm its details were correct and pay a routine fee of £25 - which means it now cannot place candidates on ballot papers under the party name.

Jayda Fransen stood for election in 2014 in Rochester and Strood by-election, receiving 56 votes.

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