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Anti-Ukip campaigners hit back at violence accusation

ANTI-FASCIST campaigners hit back yesterday at Nigel Farrage’s “scandalous” accusations of violence.

The ubiquitous far-right party leader used BBC Sunday Politics to complain that groups such as Hope Not Hate and Unite Against Fascism “are banging me over the head with banners.”

Mr Farage — who also defended a Ukip local candidate recent homophobic remarks — went on to suggest that both organisations were “headed up by senior Labour Party figures” and “acted in a violent way more than once.”

But Hope Not Hate spokesman Simon Cressy dismissed the comments as “ludicrous.”

“We are a peaceful campaign against fascism and intolerance. Using violence would be a complete oxymoron,” added Mr Cressy.

Mr Farage’s comments came a day after neonazis linked to the English Defence League (EDL) and the National Front held demonstrations in several towns across Britain.

Clashes between the EDL and antifascist activists were reported in the South Yorkshire town of Rotherham on Saturday.

The extremist group claimed to organise the event in protest over the sexual abuse of young women by a local gang.

One activist wrote on Twitter: “Noticed the EDL/NF etc didn’t protest at Max Clifford’s trial/sentencing. White men grooming must be acceptable to them.”

Over 1,000 police officers were called in to help an estimated 500 EDL supporters march through town.

Hope Not Hate observers said many of the fascist demonstrators were arrested before the event even started — most of them under drunk and disorderly charges. 

Rotherham’s Labour MP Sarah Champion said that the town was “proud of its multicultural heritage” and that the EDL wasn’t welcome there.

The British National Party also held a “day of action” in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, on Saturday. 

The small demonstration was called against the mooted building of a mosque in the grounds of a former church. 

The local council had confirmed that no formal application had been submitted, but the fascist party decided to go ahead.

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