Hundreds of anti-racism protesters march through Batley ahead of by-election

Around 400 people attended an anti-racism demonstration in Batley yesterday (June 26) amid reports a far right rally was to take place.

An anti-racism march took place in Batley on Saturday June 26
An anti-racism march took place in Batley on Saturday June 26

It had been reported that an event was to be held in Batley in support of far right politician Anne Marie Walters, who is standing in the Batley and Spen by-election on July 1.

In response, Stand Up To Racism groups across West Yorkshire organised a counter protest - but the initial event, at which Tommy Robinson was rumoured to be appearing, did not appear to materialise.

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West Yorkshire police officers attended the event, which took place in Batley town centre from around 12pm, and stated that it passed off largely without incident.

A total of three arrests were made – two for public order offences and a man was also arrested for possession of an offensive weapon, although it was not clear if those arrested were attending the anti-racism demonstration.

During the course of the afternoon, officers also assisted two people who were believed to have suffered medical episodes.

Assistant Chief Constable Scott Bisset, who led the policing operation, passed on his thanks to residents and visitors to Batley for their conduct and co-operation during the demonstration.

“We ensured we had appropriate resources including assistance from additional high visibility police officers, to minimise the disruption caused as much as possible,” he said.

“Our overall aim was to ensure that the demonstrations remained peaceful and was effectively managed, so that the wider public were able to go about their business unaffected.”