Britain First leader Paul Golding arrested over Belfast speeches

Frederick Owens
December 15, 2017

Britain First leader Paul Golding and his deputy Jayda Fransen were detained in Belfast after attending a court hearing for Fransen.

Both members of the far-right group were escorted from the court building to a city centre police station for interview.

Ms. Fransen, whose posts of anti-Muslim videos were retweeted by U.S. President Donald Trump in November, arrived at the court with Mr. Golding to face charges linked to her speech at the same rally in August.

The 31-year-old appeared in Laganside Court this morning charged with using words that were threatening, abusive or insulting during her speech at an anti-terrorism rally in Belfast in August this year.

Ms Fransen, who gained worldwide notoriety after her Islamophobic tweets were shared by Donald Trump, claimed Mr Goulding was arrested on "trumped-up charges".

Police said a 35-year-old man had also been arrested on Thursday and that he had also been detained over a speech at the same rally as Fransen in Belfast in August. Britain First also wrote on its Facebook page that Golding had been arrested.

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Trump's sharing of Fransen's anti-Muslim videos, posted on Twitter, provoked outrage in Britain last month, drawing a sharp rebuke from Prime Minister Theresa May and straining relations between two close allies.

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

Her case was adjourned until later today to hear a bail application.

Police had attempted to limit her use of social media as part of bail conditions, but the judge, Fiona Bagnall, denied their request.

A lawyer for Ms Fransen told the court: "This lady is as entitled to free expression within the law as anyone else".

Britain First styles itself as a political party but has been condemned by campaigners as a far-right extremist group.

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