FAR-RIGHT political organisation the National Front hosted its demonstration against proposals for a halal slaughterhouse in Skegness on Saturday.
The group said around 150 of its members attended, however other eye-witness accounts and police estimates suggest only 50 or so were present.
Although there has been strong local opposition to the Islamic method of slaughter on animal welfare grounds, only a handful of Skegness residents attended the demonstration.
One who did, Patricia Paterson, said she was pleased to see action being taken and did not mind that the National Front holds controversial views opposing multiculturalism and immigration. She said: “I object to the halal slaughterhouse - I don’t like the way the animals are killed and I worry it could open the floodgates.”
Key speakers at the event included National Front deputy chairman Kevin Bryan and long-term nationalist politician Richard Edmond.
In their speeches they accused the ‘local council’ of ‘giving in to pressure’ by permitting the Heath Road abattoir to carry out halal slaughter. East Lindsey District Council is keen to point out it has no role to play in the site’s licensing.
Communications team leader James Gilbert said: “For slaughterhouses the licensing and inspection regime would be the responsibility of the Food Standards Agency.”
The speakers said they opposed the ‘unacceptable’ halal slaughter methods.
However, they soon moved away from animal welfare issues to their controversial views on multiculturalism, demanding Muslims ‘went back to where they came from.’
Skegness author William Hussey attended in opposition to these ‘racist’ viewpoints and was pleased that so few local people showed support for it.
He said: “I was truly heartened by the fact that as far as I could see, very few people from Skegness turned out to support this lunatic fringe movement and that they had to rely on their own members to make up a pitifully small crowd.”
A heavy police presence was on hand throughout the event to ensure the demonstration remained peaceful. Although comments on a National Front facebook page claimed ‘25 reds’ were arrested after attempting to disturb the event, Lincolnshire Police announced there were no incidents associated with the demonstration.