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  1. ITV Report

'Minor scuffles' as EDL march through Peterborough

Peterborough MP Fiona Onasanya will join Peterborough residents and anti-fascists Credit: ITV News Anglia

A march by the more than 50 English Defence League protesters has taken place in Peterborough.

The EDL group have previously held two large rallies in the city in 2010 and 2014.

This time round Cambridgeshire police drafted in around 170 officers and staff to manage the demonstration.

A counter protest was staged by Peterborough Trades Union Council, residents and anti-fascist groups in the Key Theatre car park.

Peterborough's MP Fiona Onasanya joined in with counter protesters and said the march is being held over "sexual grooming and abuse of English girls by Muslim men."

I think that being groomed is absolutely outrageous, yes, but why have they targeted specifically a religion because being Muslim isn't a race.

You can be white, black, Hispanic, Indian and be a Muslim so they've been so generic in what they're saying. I would like some more clarification and it seems they're targeting a specific group which is why I have an issue with that.

– Fiona Onasanya MP, Peterborough, Lab
Temporary road closures could be implemented in the area Credit: ITV News Anglia

There are reports on social media on minor scuffles in the Long Causeway area.

A multi-agency community group, involving police and the city council, was set up to ensure the community were kept updated on information about the process and deal with any community concerns.

Peterborough City Council Chief Executive Gillian Beasley said: "We are working closely with the police to make sure this demonstration causes the minimum disruption possible to Peterborough.

"The city has a strong community spirit and the best thing people can do to support that unity and cohesion in the run up to, during, and after the protest, is to go about their business as usual.

"The city centre will be open and I encourage people to visit as they would on any other Saturday."

A statement supporting the counter-protest and calling out the EDL's racism has been signed by dozens of residents Credit: ITV News Anglia