15 May 2020 22:30
An illegal mass-gathering planned for Folkestone has been linked to far-right protesters. Former Britain First leader Jayda Fransen has been associated with the apparent anti-lockdown protests, which have been circulating online. A flyer has been circulating online inviting people to "be part of the largest mass gathering since the lockdown." There is no evidence these events, which would be illegal, will actually take place. Identical posters with different locations have been shared around the country with the message: "Bring a picnic, some music and let's have some fun and say yes to life." For all the latest Kent news and features sign up to our free newsletter here The organisers named on the poster are UK Freedom Movement (UKFM). Activists on social media an entry on Companies House as 'Freedom Movement' uses the same registered address as the former Britain First deputy leader.
And while UKFM has not confirmed they are behind the event, they have been targeted by rival groups over their alleged involvement. Jayda Fransen, who stood down from Britain First in 2019, has not yet denied her involvement with the group but there is thought to be some confusion over who actually runs it. After leaving Britain First, Fransen set up the British Freedom Group - a similarly-named but entirely separate organisation. UKFM was actually founded by Richard Inman, who directly addresses the "originality" of the name of Jayda's new group in a video on his YouTube channel. UKFM are understood to be supporters of far-right activist Tommy Robinson with similar ideals.
Fransen, the former deputy leader of Britain First, and Inman, anti-Muslim protester, were both associated with the plans for mass public gatherings featuring picnics to take place across Scotland and the rest of the UK this weekend in opposition to coronavirus restrictions. Scotland's First Minister yesterday warned those taking part in the events in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen would be committing an illegal act, while Police Scotland "strongly urged" people not to attend them, making it clear they are prohibited. The event was promoted via flyers circulated on social media from an organisation calling itself the UK Freedom Movement. READ MORE: Lockdown protest picnics are 'putting lives at risk' The advertisements declared the group says "no to the Coronavirus Bill, no to mandatory vaccines, no to the new normal and no to the unlawful lockdown". Nobody took responsibility for the organisation of the events, but Fransen was linked to them through a firm set up on Companies House at the end of April. The former Britain First deputy leader is listed as the sole director of Freedom Movement Ltd, which lists its correspondence address as the same one used for companies set up in Britain's First name. Meanwhile Inman, a Tommy Robinson supporter, is the co-founder of a protest group named the UK Freedom Movement. He took to YouTube last night to deny having involvement in the organisation of the protests but said he would defend the rights of people wishing to attend them, despite them being illegal under legislation drawn up to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Inman said: "I absolutely defend your right to go to those demonstrations to protest peacefully and safely and I say all the best to you." Similarly, Belfast-based journalist Amanda Ferguson reported that Fransen had insisted she had no role in the planning of the protests. Ms Fransen says she and the 'British Freedom Movement' have nothing to do with the 'PICNIC OF DEATH IN THE PARK' lockdown protests due to take place this weekend. A FAR-RIGHT campaigner has been linked with plans for mass lockdown protests across Scotland. The events in Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen and Edinburgh are set to take place this weekend despite warnings it is illegal from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. ⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates on Covid-19 4 Jayda Fransen has been linked to the protests 4 A flyer urges people to protest across Scotland including at Glasgow Green Jayda Fransen, former deputy leader of the Britain First group has been linked to the group organising the campaign. Flyers from the group, known as UK Freedom Movement, advertised the planned 'largest mass gathering since the lockdown'. The group's UK Mass Gathering posters read: "We say no to the coronavirus bill, no to mandatory vaccines, no to the new normal and no to the unlawful lockdown." People are being encouraged to gather in at least eight locations across the UK from 12pm and "bring a picnic, some music and let's have some fun and say yes to life". Ms Fransen has been linked to the group through a firm she set up on Companies House on April 30. She is listed as the director of Freedom Movement Ltd, which has its address listed at the same address as the Britain First group. 4 Ms Fransen was former Britain First deputy leader 4 Nicola Sturgeon says anyone who attends the event is breaking the law Ms Sturgeon warned people against attending the events as she insisted she will not keep restrictions in place longer than necessary. She said: "I will not keep these restrictions in place longer than necessary. "In terms of the so-called protests, I know there has been material circulating on social media. "Firstly, anybody who goes to a picnic in the park right now would be breaking the law. "The other, perhaps even more important reason not to do it, is you would be putting people's lives at risk. "If anyone out there is even remotely tempted to go to some illegal gathering in a park this weekend because you are fed up with lockdown. "I understand you are fed up with lockdown, we are all fed up but we're having to do it for the right reasons. "If you do that, it's no exaggeration to say you'd be putting people's lives at risk. Nicola Sturgeon not confident Boris Johnson's coronavirus lockdown changes can be done safely