Britain First’s “warm welcome” claim is “ludicrous”

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

Published at 18:25 on 19 May 2015

Politics    Britain First    Scottish Socialist Party

Kevin McVey (left) has called the group's claims of a "warm welcome" "ludicrous". Picture: Scott Campbell for Cumbernauld Media.

THE Cumbernauld branch of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) has hit out at the far-right extremist group, Britain First, after the group held a meeting in Cumbernauld last month.

Around eight to ten ‘Britain First’ activists turned up at Cumbernauld railway station at 7.30pm on Wednesday 29th April, despite clashing with protesters from the ‘Unite Against Fascism’ group, who outnumbered Britain First by near enough three to one. 

The self-styled ‘patriotic political party and street defence organisation’ came north to host a Scottish conference last month, in a bid to gather support and co-ordinate activities, as the 2016 Scottish Parliament election draws closer.

In publicity after the group’s visit to Cumbernauld, Britain First claimed that they had received a “warm welcome” in Cumbernauld despite protesters outnumbering their activists by some margin.

Reacting to the group‘s comments, members of the Scottish Socialist Party branch in Cumbernauld have described the far right organisation’s claim of a “warm welcome” in Cumbernauld as being “ludicrous”.

Cumbernauld Scottish Socialist Party member, Kevin McVey said: “Britain First is known for making outlandish claims about its own importance and last week’s comments seem to fall into that category. 

“The truth was that when they arrived they were met by a large group of protesters who wanted to make it clear that their poisonous message was not welcome in our communities. 

“They hung about for half an hour, giving their obligatory Nazi salutes, before departing. Meanwhile some of their colleagues huddled in a pub elsewhere in the town. Any idea that they were somehow warmly received is ludicrous. 

“We need unity to stand up against austerity in our communities and groups like this who seek to sow division and hate will be opposed by all but a tiny minority,” he added.

Questions have also been asked of a local pub, where it is believed that the activists of the far-right group were served. Members of the Cumbernauld SSP branch have demanded answered about “how this happened”.

Mr McVey added: “We will be contacting the Condorrat Arms to clarify the circumstances about the meeting Britain First had in the pub. We wish to know if it was a pre-booked event because if it was, it raises serious questions about how a far right hate group is given access to a pub that is described as being family friendly.  

He added: “As a resident of Condorrat I am extremely uncomfortable about the idea that local people could go into the pub and land amongst a group of people who promote hate and intolerance of people because of their race, religion or sexuality. Understandably this has caused some concern and should not be repeated.”