Police investigate after man shouts 'go back to Africa' at Hertfordshire Black Lives Matter protest

Police are investigating after a man shouted 'go back to Africa' at a group of anti-racism protesters.

The Black Lives Matter demonstration happened at the Clock Tower in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire on Monday. Widely shared footage shows the protest being met by opposition from another group, one of whom shouts "why don't you go back to Africa".

The protest, among other Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the globe, aimed to condemn racism after black American George Floyd was killed last month.

Anti-racism protests have been sparked by the death of black American George Floyd. Credit: PA

In response to the abuse in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire Police have said: "An investigation is underway and we want to reassure you that the matter is being treated seriously with positive lines of enquiry being actively pursued.".

Musician Declan McKenna alerted Tottenham Hotspur FC to the footage - he said many of the counter-protestors claimed to be fans of the club. In response, Tottenham Hotspur said they would investigate the claims.

Councillor for Hoddesdon Town and Rye Park Andreas Payne also weighed in, saying he was "appalled".

The counter-protesters also chanted “there’s only one Lee Rigby”, a reference to the soldier murdered in London by Islamist extremists in 2013. Rigby’s mother has recently called for people not to use his name to fuel division.

A petition signed by over 4,000 people (at the time of writing) has called for all council members and Hertfordshire police to "address and conduct an official investigation into the hate speech".

Following George Floyd's death, protests have taken place it towns and cities across the Anglia region, including Hitchin, Peterborough, Luton, Cambridge, Colchester, Milton Keynes and Southend.