A hotel where Britain First held a conference has said it is unhappy to have been associated with the far-right group.
The Wyboston Lakes resort in Bedfordshire, which was criticised online for allowing the controversial organisation to hold a meeting there, said the meeting room was not booked under the group’s name.
Pictures posted online by the fringe political group’s leader Paul Golding appeared to show dozens of people sitting in a room decked with banners declaring “Taking Our Country Back”.
We sold a small meeting room on 02/12/17 at the last minute. This was not booked by Britain First and the name given did not arouse any suspicions. As a company that is proudly diverse and embracing of all cultures and nationalities, we are unhappy to have been associated.
December 3, 2017
In reply to a tweet hitting criticising the venue, Wyboston Lakes said: “We sold a small meeting room on 02/12/17 at the last minute. This was not booked by Britain First and the name given did not arouse any suspicions.
“As a company that is proudly diverse and embracing of all cultures and nationalities, we are unhappy to have been associated.”
The group’s conference came days after Donald Trump retweeted three anti-Muslim videos posted by the deputy leader Jayda Fransen.
Two featured violent scenes, including someone being pushed off a roof and another person being assaulted.
The group has since boasted it gained hundreds of new membership applications and said its Facebook posts were reaching hundreds of thousands more users.
Some criticism online included people saying the venue should feel ashamed, while one Twitter user defended them, saying: “They had no reason to suspect it was anything untoward. Do you blame hotels for everything that happens in them?”
Fransen, 31, from Penge, south-east London, is on bail facing trial over four charges of causing religiously aggravated harassment as part of a Kent Police investigation into the distribution of leaflets and the posting of online videos during a trial held at Canterbury Crown Court in May.
She will go on trial at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on January 29, alongside Golding who faces three similar charges.
Fransen will also appear in court in Northern Ireland in December charged with using threatening and abusive language in connection with a speech she made at an anti-terrorism demonstration in Belfast on August 6.