Counting cost of EDL march

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THE controversial English Defence League march through Rotherham has cost the town’s economy a ‘six figure sum’, an MP has claimed.

Rotherham Labour MP Denis MacShane said traders had closed while the far right group held its demonstration on Saturday - and the lack of ordinary people in the town centre also hit taxi drivers.

He told Parliament: “The choice of route meant that Rotherham’s economy lost an amount of six figures or more.

“I want to explore with the Home Office the consequences of the number of EDL marches that are held, in terms of their economic impact on local economies that are struggling.

“I support free speech and the right to assemble but surely there is a responsibility to ensure that happens in such a way that minimises economic loss and hardship to struggling communities like Rotherham?”

Mr MacShane has asked for a meeting with the new Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice to discuss the issue.