A far right group has opposed the opening of Aklu Plaza in Romford
Around nine members of the extremist group Patriotic Alternative held demonstrations outside Aklu Plaza, Romford War Memorial and Havering Town Hall on Sunday.
The group is against the opening of an Asian superstore in the former Debenhams building in Romford Market Place.
It was founded by Mark Collett who has said he admires Adolf Hitler and appeared on the Channel 4 documentary ‘Young, Nazi and Proud’.
Leader of Havering Council, Damian White, said the council was not aware the protests were taking place and described them as “unacceptable”.
“To promote such blatantly racist messages and comments shows us there are still some people out there who wish to drive a wedge between our communities,” said Cllr White.
“We will never be party to or support such behaviour. We are proud to have a vibrant mix of communities who have supported this nation through war and peace. To say otherwise shows how out of touch this group are.
“We will always challenge and repel any type of racism and discrimination in our borough. There is no place for hate in Havering.”
Local residents condemned the group on social media, with one highlighting the fact they all hid their faces in their pictures.
“Racists out early in the morning so they can hide back under their rocks before being recognised,” said the resident.
Two people commented on the lack of visible support for the demonstrations, with one saying “greeted by absolutely no one it appears”.
Another said “great turn out! didn’t realise Romford had a population of zero”.
The far right group also held protests outside the constituency office of Romford MP Andrew Rosindell.
Romford Conservatives spokesperson David Taylor said: “These, sick, so-called ‘patriots’ even took to protesting by our town’s war memorial.
“I can think of nothing less patriotic than supporting the Nazis who caused so much devastation to our country.”
Taylor is a candidate for St Edwards’ Ward and has been told by the group he “needs their vote”.
“If you are a supporter of this group, if you think that a Nazi sympathiser is a British patriot, then I don’t want your vote,” he added.
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