BOLTON South East MP Yasmin Qureshi has said she has not personally called on police to drop charges against left-wing protesters at March’s English Defence League rally.
Ms Qureshi sent a message of support to the Justice4Bolton group, whose broad aim is to get Greater Manchester Police to end proceedings against 50-plus Unite Again Fascism supporters who were arrested at the rally, in Victoria Square.
But she said: “It would be inappropriate for me to intervene in the legal process and to ask Greater Manchester Police to drop the charges and I have not done so. However, I do believe that everyone should have the right to peaceful protest without fear of arrest.”
Thousands of UAF and EDL supporters held counter rallies in Bolton town centre on March 20 and police made more than 70 arrests, many on charges of conspiracy to incite violent disorder.
Justice4Bolton has argued that the use of conspiracy laws — rather than charging over specific incidents — is a “move towards de-legitimising protests against fascism”.