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"We do not want extremism in our town" says councillor

Around 200 police officers are on duty in Grantham today as two demonstrations take place in the town in the next hour . Members of the English Defence League will be staging a protest against plans to build an Islamic Cultural Centre.

At the same time a counter demonstration by the Grantham Solidarity Network is taking place a few metres away.

"We do not want extremism in our town. Planning issues need to be decided by local people."

– Councillor Charmaine Morgan, South Kesteven District Council


POLICE: "Minor" disruption expected in Grantham

Lincolnshire Police have told ITV News they expect only minor disruption in Grantham today during protests by the English Defence League and an opposing group.

The marches and static protests will take place between 1pm and 3pm.

"There may be some minor disruption in Grantham on Saturday and some people will wonder why the events are being allowed to take place. The police have no authority to prohibit peaceful protests and all the information we have indicates the organisers of both groups intend their protests will be carried out in a peaceful, lawful manner."**

– Lee Freeman, ACC, Lincolnshire Police

Police say they have met with organisers of the groups and are trying to ensure that businesses can stay open as normal in Grantham this afternoon. Some road closures will be in place.

EDL: Protest against Islamic Centre will be "peaceful"

The English Defence League will march through Grantham at 1:30 today Credit: PA

Organisers of a protest against plans to build an Islamic Cultural Centre in Grantham insist it will be peaceful. The EDL will march through the town - a counter demonstration is also planned. Police say they will keep disruption to a minimum.

Police prepare for EDL march in Grantham

The English Defence League plan to march through Grantham today over plans to build a new Islamic Centre in the town. There will also be a counter demonstration.

The EDL will march at 1.30pm in Westgate near to the Blue Bell pub and move towards St Peter's Hill where they will hold a static rally.

The opposing group will hold a static meeting nearby on The Avenue starting at around 1300hrs.

The protests should finish at 3pm.


Labour demand apology for Thatcher's strike plans

Former PM Margaret Thatcher Credit: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Labour is demanding a formal apology from the government for the treatment of miners during the strike of 1984 to 1985.

Recently released cabinet papers from the 1980s showed, Grantham born former Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, considered sending in troops to break the strike.

Shadow Minister Michael Dugher will make the demand in the House of Commons.

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Released papers reveal "hit-list" of 75 mines

Newly released papers from Margaret Thatcher's time at Number 10 have shown she may have planned to close over 70 pits.

The documents reveal that 75 pits were being considered for closure Credit: National Archives

The secret "hit-list" means that the government may have been looking at a further 50 closures than the 20 that were talked about by the government and National Coal Board.

The document reveals they wanted to close the mines over a three year period.

Arthur Scargill, then leader of the Yorkshire National Union of Miners, had always claimed the government were planning to close more mines than were being discussed publicly.

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Margaret Thatcher's cost of keeping up appearances

As Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher's immaculately coiffed blonde locks were as much a part of her image as her famous handbag - and newly-released government files show just how much time she spent keeping up appearances.

US President Ronald Reagan talking to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Credit: Press Association

Her appointments diary for 1984, released by the National Archives, show that she had 118 hair appointments in the space of 12 months.

In June, when she was hosting world leaders at an economic summit in London she had hair appointments on five consecutive days.

The diary also confirms her reputation as a workaholic who found it difficult to relax.

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Ministers believed Russian funds were being sent to miners

Mikhail Gorbachev was the Russian leader during the miners' strike Credit: Press Association

Margaret Thatcher's government was desperate to stop cash from the Soviet Union reaching the striking coal miners, according to newly-released Government papers.

Official files from 1984 released by the National Archives show ministers believed hundreds of thousands of pounds were being channelled to the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) from Moscow.

But even though the union's assets had been sequestered by the courts after its president, Arthur Scargill, refused to allow it to pay a £200,000 fine for contempt, officials admitted there was little they could do to stop the flow of roubles.

Thatcher and Gorbachev meeting in 1984 Credit: Press Association

Mrs Thatcher was told the best they could hope for was that a NUM courier might be picked up by Customs trying to enter the country with "a suitcase full of bank notes".

Minsters were alerted by MI5 to the Soviet financial lifeline for the miners in early November 1984. A few days later the Soviet news agency TASS reported publicly that £500,000 had been raised to support the strike.

Although the money was supposed to have been donated by Russian miners, the Government had little doubt that the funds could only have been transferred abroad with the approval of the Soviet authorities.

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