One arrest after EDL protest against Islamic centre

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HUNDREDS of English Defence League members marched through a village to protest against a Muslim education centre as a counter demonstration was also launched.

Police made one arrest on suspicion of a public order offence in Shotton Colliery on Saturday, while firecrackers were also let off during the afternoon.

However, police say they are pleased nothing came of the potential clash between the organisations.

Around 200 members of the North East’s EDL group marched as they made their views known against the centre. At the same time, around 30 members of the United Against Facism (UAF) group held a protest at the other end of the village, with Easington MP Grahame Morris adding his support to their cause by joining their crowd.

An estimated 100 police officers from Durham, Cleveland and Northumbria police forces lined the streets to prevent trouble 
flaring.

Speaking after the march, Inspector Dave Coxon said the event, despite being noisy with chants from the EDL supporters, had gone off peacefully. He said: “It’s been a little bit noisier than what the people in Shotton will be used to on a Saturday afternoon but the protest was fairly 
peaceful.”

A police presence remained in the village into the evening.

Durham County Council has given businessman Kaiser Choudry permission to turn the former Melrose Arms pub into the education centre.

Saturday was the second time the plans have sparked a demonstration.