Sutton councillor slams 'disgraceful' Mansfield protest against asylum seekers

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A Sutton councillor has called for calm after what he called an “appalling intimidatory protest” outside a Mansfield hotel being used to house asylum seekers.

But the protestors say the event passed off peacefully and very successfully with no incidents at all.

Coun David Hennigan, Ashfield Council Independent member for Sutton Central & New Cross, said the protesters’ “ire” would be better aimed at Conservative MPs whose Government have presided over a “broken asylum system”.

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He has now written to the Chief Constable Kate Meynell, of Nottinghamshire Police, and Caroline Henry, Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner about the protest and called for a formal investigation and for them to monitor the situation.

Protestors took part in a demonstration against the housing of asylum seekers in a Mansfield hotel.Protestors took part in a demonstration against the housing of asylum seekers in a Mansfield hotel.
Protestors took part in a demonstration against the housing of asylum seekers in a Mansfield hotel.
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Coun Hennigan said: “For me, this is a reminder of the bad old days, we need calm and not hatred.

“A bunch of white protesters baiting asylum seekers is wholly disgraceful.

“Community cohesion should be the cornerstone of communities and these irresponsible protests puts that all at risk.”

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In his letter to Ms Meynell and Mrs Henry, Coun Hennigan asked for a formal investigation into whether any offences have been committed, for the pair to release public statements condemning the incident and also for them to write to all Nottinghamshire MPs to remind them of their responsibility to promote community cohesion.

A member of the protest group, who declined to be named, said: “We had a good response and it went very well.

“There was one moment when we tried to ask how many were in the hotel and we got a bit of abuse shouted back, but that’s what you’re there to do, to do a bit of shouting.

“These councillors having a go at us weren’t even there.

“There were no arrests, the police were very supportive and overall it went very well. The people who were there want to do another bigger one in the future.”

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