Senior figures in far-right group Britain First arrested at Belfast court

PA Wire  PA Images                   Golding left with deputy leader Jayda Fransen arriving at Belfast Laganside courts on Thursday

The leader of the far-right group "Britain First" has been arrested in connection with a rally held in Belfast during the summer.

Paul Golding, 35, was accompanying Ms Fransen to her court appearance when he was arrested by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Britain First leader Paul Golding, 35, was also arrested outside the courtroom before the hearing.

Ms Fransen appeared in the dock at Belfast Magistrate's Court on Thursday and spoke only to confirm that she understood the charges.

In a video this morning Fransen described the charge of using "threatening, abusive, insulting words or behaviour" as "nonsense" and "trumped up".

"Both of us addressed, made a speech, at a public demonstration outside Belfast City Hall all the way back in August".

A detective constable said she could connect her to the alleged offences.

"The woman is being brought to Belfast to be interviewed under Art 9 (1) of the Public Order (NI) Order 1987 in relation to speeches made at the Northern Ireland Against Terrorism Rally on Sunday 6th August this year".

The arrest was confirmed on Golding's own Twitter account.

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

But Fransen's lawyer said: "This lady is as entitled to free expression within the law as anyone else".

"I'm a politician, this is our bloody country", she said. What have they arrested her for?

The officer said police were seeking a further condition regarding the defendant's use of social media and the likelihood of reoffending.

He added: "The idea that she be prevented from speaking in my respectful submission is completely disproportionate".



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