Thousands gather in London for far-right march

British far-right activist Tommy Robinson (C) marches with supporters from Victoria station to Parliament Square in central London on June 1, 2024. (HENRY NICHOLLS)
British far-right activist Tommy Robinson (C) marches with supporters from Victoria station to Parliament Square in central London on June 1, 2024. (HENRY NICHOLLS)

Thousands gathered at a London protest organised by far-right figurehead Tommy Robinson on Saturday, with police reporting two arrests near parliament.

Police, who already had a major operation for Saturday's Champions League football final in London, said they also arrested nine people at a demonstration on the Gaza war.

Robinson, a far-right firebrand and founder of the English Defence League, gave a speech at the rally criticising London police as "corrupt".

One person was detained near Parliament Square for drunkenness and assaulting an emergency worker, while the second arrest came after a woman was subjected to racial abuse, according to police.

Police said they identified "individuals within the crowd" who had a "history of being involved in violent disorder".

Around 300 counter-protesters organised by the Stand Up To Racism group were separated from the far-right march by a police cordon.

The Youth Demand group organised a separate rally against Israel's military action in Gaza.

Police said arrests were made when demonstrators "attempted to cause serious disruption" by blocking traffic and "breaching" conditions placed on the rally.

aks/tw/imm