Britain First leader Paul Golding arrested over Belfast speeches

Posted December 16, 2017

Britain First, which styles itself as a political party and makes calls to its supporters to join the "British resistance" for the "future" of British children, has largely been condemned by civil rights activists as a far-right hate group for its "invasions" of mosques.

Mr Golding was arrested in Belfast as he was accompanying the group's deputy leader, Jayda Fransen, who appeared in court accused of behaviour intended or likely to stir up hatred.

He has been bailed to appear at Belfast Magistrates' Court in January.

Ms Fransen was charged at Belfast Magistrates' Court with using words which were threatening, abusive or insulting during a speech at the August rally.

Fransen was re-arrested after she featured in a tweet on Wednesday purporting to show her at a wall used to divide Catholic residents from Protestants to prevent violence during the Troubles.

It comes just over two weeks after Britain First was put in the spotlight by President Donald Trump, who retweeted three anti-Muslim hate videos posted by Fransen, prompting a rebuke from UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

Golding was bailed to appear in the same court next month.

"He has been taken to Musgrave PSNI station for interview".

Around a dozen people in the public gallery watched her appearance, which was adjourned until later on Thursday to hear a bail application.

The 31-year-old was detained in London and flown to Belfast over a speech made at the rally in August.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) confirmed a 35-year-old man had been arrested at Laganside courts but did not say what offence he was suspected of committing.

She added: "We were concerned that there would be further offences".

Prosecutors and police requested the judge presiding on Fransen's case, Fiona Bagnall, to limit the deputy's involvement in any more rallies and prohibit her from using social media.

Her lawyer, Richard McConkey, said the curbs on her freedom of speech would be disproportionate for a politician. She is due to return to Court on January 9.