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Judges reject EDL bid to overturn march route ban

Far-right group's Tower Hamlets restrictions upheld

The far-right English Defence League has lost a High Court bid for the right to demonstrate in an area of east London they claim is “subject to Sharia law.”

The Islamophobic group objected to police preventing the march planned for today entering Tower Hamlets.

Scotland Yard said it had imposed restrictions on marchers as they feared an outbreak of “serious public disorder.”

Presiding in the High Court Mr Justice King ruled the police decision was reasonable and proportionate.

He also blocked an EDL attempt to pursue a judicial review of the decision.

Lawyers for the EDL claimed the Metropolitan Police had imposed “disproportionate” restrictions on the march route because of concerns about counter-demonstrations.

But lawyers for the force said senior officers decided to stop the march 540m short to prevent “serious” disorder.

They argued that those taking part in EDL marches could be “unreasonably” provocative.

Police anticipated between 1,000 and 2,000 people would march with the EDL and “several thousand” in counter-demonstrations by groups including Unite Against Fascism.

If rival demonstrators clashed, police would be faced with a “crisis management” situation.

Mr Justice King, who was told that Tower Hamlets had the biggest Muslim population in the country, said the EDL had not shown the police decision to be unlawful, irrational, unreasonable or disproportionate.


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