English Defence League demo to close Doncaster town centre pub

The Gate House, Priory Walk. (Picture: CHRIS BULL D4310CB)
The Gate House, Priory Walk. (Picture: CHRIS BULL D4310CB)
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A Doncaster pub will shut its doors on Saturday morning after discovering it was the planned rendezvous for an English Defence League march.

The Gate House on Priory Walk will close on police advice at 10.30am – the EDL’s planned meeting time as advertised on Facebook – and its doors will stay shut for an undisclosed time.

Manager Paul Sanderson said: “I became aware of the march on Facebook and, after receiving advice from the police, have decided to close.”

Other town centre pubs are also believed to be considering a shutdown and another landlord said: “We’re going to play it by ear, the police have advised us to monitor the situation.”

The EDL will also march in Sheffield and is planning a ‘meet and greet’ in Leeds city centre, as well as multiple marches nationwide.

The series of gatherings follows the murder of soldier Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich, London, last Wednesday.

South Yorkshire Police said the EDL had not submitted a formal application for the march, and added an appeal for calm.

A spokeswoman said: “We are aware the EDL are seeking to place wreaths and hold a minute’s silence at war memorials around the country in memory of Drummer Lee Rigby.

“The key messages from the organisers are that these events will be peaceful and respectful. Events within the county are expected in Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

“A number of rumours and comments that have been made have been having a disproportionate negative impact on the community. Police are aware of these rumours and are actively working to negate them.”

Labour leader and Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband said: “I utterly condemn the EDL for bringing their hatred to Doncaster.

“People who spread hatred will fail because people in Doncaster, and across Britain, are united across different faiths, different religions, and different backgrounds in the values of decency.”