Far-right and anti-fascist groups clash at protests in Dover

Demonstrators from pro and anti-immigration groups have clashed in Dover. Credit: Gareth Fuller / PA Wire/PA Images

Violence has erupted in Dover after an anti-immigration rally organised by the National Front clashed with a counter-demonstration by left-wing groups.

Flag-waving demonstrators from the National Front and the right-wing South East Alliance marched through the seaside town to protest against the arrival of immigrants.

They clashed with anti-racism activists including the Kent Anti-Racism Network, who organised a counter-demonstration.

Police are using stop and search powers at the demonstrations in Dover. Credit: Gareth Fuller / PA Wire/PA Images
Anti-fascist demonstrators organised a rally to show support for refugees. Credit: Gareth Fuller / PA Wire/PA Images

Kent Police described the protest as a "fast-moving and ongoing incident" but were unable to say whether there had been any arrests.

Several roads were closed in the area and police said 'stop and search' tactics were used 'to ensure a peaceful protest'.

Labour MP Diane Abbott addressed the large pro-immigration rally. Credit: Gareth Fuller / PA Wire/PA Images

After the march the National Front posted on its Facebook site, saying: "A big well done and thank you to all white nationalists who attended Dover today to save our country from invasion. Respect to all in attendance."

Police have closed several roads in the area because of the rallies. Credit: Gareth Fuller / PA Wire/PA Images

Earlier, Maidstone services on the M20 were closed after several coaches believed to be taking people to the protest were damaged.

Police were called to a disturbance at the services shortly before 11am, where two coaches had swastikas painted on them in blood.

One had its windscreen smashed as rival groups clashed.

Kent Police said one man was arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon, and another coach that left the scene was stopped by officers at junction 11 services at Westenhanger.