Sheffield hotel cancels UKIP youth event featuring far right speaker and anti-Islam leadership candidate

A Sheffield hotel has cancelled an event which was set to host a far right speaker and an anti-Islam leadership candidate.

Friday, 1st September 2017, 12:30 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 1:06 pm
UKIP's Young Independence event featuring Austrian far right activist Martin Sellner and UKIP candidate Anne Marie Waters has been cancelled. Pic: WikiCommons

The Hilton Hotel on Victoria Quays near Sheffield city centre decided to axe UKIP's Young Independence event after pressure from city councillors opposition activists.

Sheffield councillors Jack Scott and Ben Curran penned a letters to the hotel this week urging bosses to cancel Saturday's conference.

They said planned speaker, Austrian far right activist Martin Sellner, leader of the far right Identitarian Movement of Austria, was a key player in the 'Defend Europe' mission this summer. It's alleged they aimed to hinder the work of NGOs attempting to save migrants from drowning in the Mediterranean Sea.

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The letters also claimed the Identitarian Movement of Austria is part of an international network or far right groups, including those in Germany, Italy, France and elsewhere.

Another speaker at the event, Anne Marie Waters, is hoping to become UKIP's next leader. She is the founder of right wing pressure group Pegida UK who she set up with former EDL front man Stephen Lennon AKA Tommy Robinson.

Pegida UK is described as an 'anti-islamic organisation'.

Protest groups Unite and Fascism and Sheffield Stand Up to Rascism were due to hold a demonstration outside the hotel.

Deciding to cancel the event, Rebecca Toner, conference and events manager at the Hilton in Sheffield said: "We have taken the decision to cancel the event in question.

"As places of public accommodation, our hotels do not discriminate against any individual or group. Our goal is to provide quality accommodation and a pleasant environment for all our guests, Team Members and members of our community.

"We do, however, review each booking on a case by case basis, and in view of heightened safety and security risks associated with this event, we decided to cancel the booking."

Coun Scott said: "I'm very pleased at the responsible decision that the Hilton hotel has taken after I wrote to them on behalf of concerned constituents.

"Sheffield has a proud tradition as a diverse and welcoming city. Far right extremism has no place here.

"This result shows the power people can have when we work together in a tolerant as respectful way. I'm grateful to everyone who was involved and helped us to achieve a good outcome for Sheffield."