Not welcome in Cumbernauld: Britain First visit to town proves controversial

Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.

Published at 17:13 on 6 May 2015


Picture shows protesters campaigning against Britain First activists at the station. Picture: courtesy of Bill Henry.

PROTESTERS met activists from the self-styled ‘patriotic political party and street defence organisation’ at Cumbernauld railway station last Wednesday (29th April), as the group came north to host a Scottish conference.

Gathering at Cumbernauld railway station from around 7pm, for a formal meet-up at the station at 7:30pm, around eight to ten ‘Britain First’ activists stood in defiance against the ‘Unite Against Fascism’ campaigners, who outnumbered the group by near enough three to one. 

Britain First – an organisation who describe their mission statement as being a: “patriotic political party and street defence organisation that opposes and fights the many injustices that are routinely inflicted on the British people” – has earned a reputation for raiding mosques and promoting anti-Islamic rhetoric.

The group, however, claims that it “stands opposed to all alien and destructive political or religious doctrines, including Marxism, Liberalism, Fascism, National Socialism, Political Correctness, Euro Federalism and Islam.”

Last Wednesday’s visit to Cumbernauld is the group’s second known ‘official’ campaign meet-up in the area, after activists raided Cumbernauld’s £1.8million mosque in May 2014 – a raid described by worshipers in the mosque at the time as “very intimidating, hostile and threatening.”

The meeting at Cumbernauld railway station last week was followed by a ‘Scottish’ Britain First conference, which seen around 22 activists in attendance – “double the turnout of our last meeting in Glasgow,” a spokesperson for the group explained. 

“Things are on the move in Alba,” the spokesperson added. “We have days of action planned.”

Jayda Fransen, the Deputy leader of Britain First, and a self-styled “Patriot who loves Britain”, who claims that: “Islam is destroying the world” addressed the conference alongside Paul Golding, the Leader of Britain First, whose self-written Twitter bio describes him as an “Implacable opponent of Mohammedanism.”

Jayda and Paul, it is understood, missing the protest at Cumbernauld railway station, however, with the pair understood to have been picked up at Edinburgh Airport by two local Britain First members. 

Karen Bett was one of the protestors who attended the counter-protest against Britain First at Cumbernauld railway station last Wednesday evening. 

While at the station, Ms. Bett posted pictures to social media which revealed only 7 people to be representing Britain First – a figure dwarfed by the Police officers sent to maintain the peace. 

“This is another good turn out for Britain first. 7 guys,” Ms. Bett posted on Facebook.

A spokesperson for the Edinburgh Against the Racist SDL organisation which helped organise the counter-protest claimed that their activists were: “seeing off Britain First”, adding: “There was a great turnout in Cumbernauld by anti-fascists to oppose the 9 Britain First Nazis that bothered to show up.”

View our gallery of what happened at Cumbernauld railway station below. All of the pictures used are used on the courtesy of Bill Henry.