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Resort 'deeply offended' over Britain First conference

A picture from the Britain First conference at Wyboston Lakes on Saturday Credit: Paul Golding/Twitter

An award-winning resort in Bedfordshire has been left "deeply offended" after unwittingly hiring out a meeting room to far-right group Britain First.

The Wyboston Lakes resort said the controversial organisation booked the £2,250 room under a different name for its conference.

The hire cost of the five-hour event on Saturday will now be donated to an as-yet undecided charity.

Pictures posted online by the fringe political group's leader Paul Golding appeared to show dozens of people sitting in a small room decked with banners declaring "Taking Our Country Back!"

One of the conference rooms for hire at Wyboston Lakes Credit: Wyboston Lakes

The resort faced criticism online when news of the conference, the location of which had not been made public by the group, became clear.

The meeting was booked at short notice under the name Patriot Merchandise, a resort spokesman said, and did not appear to have any obvious connections to Britain First.

Patriot Merchandise is listed at Companies House as a private limited company based in Belfast.

No staff entered the meeting room during the event and the banners were erected only in the "closed off conference room", the spokesman said.

We are deeply offended by their presence on our property

– Spokesperson, Wyboston Lakes

In a statement released on Sunday evening the resort spokesman said: "For the sake of clarity, had we known the nature of the event being held by Britain First, we would not have taken the booking, as the values of our organisation conflicts with theirs in totality."

Wyboston Lakes, which was ranked at 28 in this year's Sunday Times best 100 companies to work for list, said it "embraces diversity".

The spokesman added: "We can fully understand the concerns expressed, but we can only refer to our company values and principles, our standing as an award-winning employer and assure everyone that we are deeply offended by their presence on our property."