UK

BNP March: Nick Griffin Backs Down On Flouting Woolwich March Ban, Will Assemble In Westminster

01/06/2013 10:50 BST
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LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 24: British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin arrives to lay flowers close to the scene where Drummer Lee Rigby of the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was killed, on May 24, 2013 in London, England. Drummer Lee Rigby of the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was murdered by suspected Islamists near London's Woolwich Army Barracks. The UK's security services are facing a Commons inquiry after confirmation that the two men arrested were known to MI5. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The British National Party (BNP) will not follow through with its threat to stage a protest march in Woolwich on Saturday, despite a police ban, according to its leader, Nick Griffin.

Griffin had previously declared his intention to march through Woolwich in protest at Muslim extremism in the wake of the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby close to Woolwich Barracks last week.

Despite the threat of arrest, due to a Met Police ban on marches in the Woolwich area, Griffin had tweeted: "Ignore reports of march ban... Police abuse of power in effort to cover up martial arts mosque scandal unacceptable".

However on Friday Griffin instead indicated the 'Hate Preachers Out' demonstration would instead take place in Westminster.

As well as asking that marchers dress, drink and behave responsibly on the march, the party have also issued a statement asking members not to show animosity towards a Sikh protest also occurring in Westminster.

lee rigby flowers

The BNP have backed down on plans to march through Woolwich on Saturday

Events have also been planned by the English Defence League (EDL), whose leader, Tommy Robinson, was invited by Griffin to "come and get nicked" alongside the BNP in Woolwich.

On Friday the family of Drummer Rigby stressed that the young soldier would not have wanted violent attacks to be carried out in his name, and urged protesters to remain peaceful.

In a statement released through the Ministry of Defence, members of Drummer Rigby's family including his mother Lyn, stepfather Ian, wife Rebecca and son Jack, said: "We would like to emphasise that Lee would not want people to use his name as an excuse to carry out attacks against others.

"We would not wish any other families to go through this harrowing experience and appeal to everyone to keep calm and show their respect in a peaceful manner."

The march comes a day after the Greenwich Islamic Centre organised a meeting of all faith groups to try to quell tensions in the area following the soldier's shocking death.

The Greenwich Islamic Centre put stalls along the main road, offering cups of tea, or more popular glasses of cool juice in the hot sun, along with platters of custard creams.

Imans chatted to local clergy, and worshippers stayed behind after Friday prayers to speak to Christian, Sikh and Jewish representatives who came to show solidarity.