PM David Cameron: ‘Police will crack down on Golders Green rally if it is anti-Semitic’
- Credit: Archant
Prime Minister David Cameron has issued a stark warning to far-right groups planning a demonstration in Golders Green next month, insisting they will face the “full force of the law” if they display any “anti-Semitic hostility”.
Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer raised his concerns in the House of Commons today about the planned rally organised by far-right groups, including the New Dawn party, set for Saturday, July 4 - a Jewish day of rest when many Jews will be walking to their synagogue.
Addressing parliament during Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Freer said: “On Saturday 4th of July, a far-right, neo-Nazi group are planning a demonstration in Golders Green, an area with a large Jewish population.
“Would my right honourable friend agree with me and join with me, in calling on the police to use all their public order powers to combat this anti-Semitic demonstration?”
In response, Mr Cameron said: “I think my honourable friend speaks for the whole house and I can tell him that the Home Secretary has recently written to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner about this specific demonstration, and set out that where any criminal offences are committed, and where individuals have demonstrated anti-Semitic hostility, they should face the full force of the law.
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“We do have freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in our country, but people should not feel free to extend to harassment or threatening behaviour. That is not permitted and that should be prosecuted.”
The demonstrators plan to rally against what they have branded the “Jewification of Britain”, particularly targeting Shomrim – a group of Jewish volunteers which works with the Met Police to help protect Jewish buildings and the community.
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The rally has been linked to a similar demonstration which took place in Stamford Hill in April.
A Met spokesman said police had no powers to ban a static demonstration – and must safeguard the right to protest.
But Ch Supt Int Adrian Usher, of Barnet Police, said a policing plan was being drawn up, adding: “Officers are speaking to the organiser of the protest to understand what their plans are.”
A counter demonstration has also been organised for the day.