Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn joined urgent calls on Monday for an inquiry into violent police tactics against anti-fascist protesters in Bolton.
Mr Corbyn said he was “appalled” at the way police barged in and arrested 54 anti-fascists at the weekend, including Unite Against Fascism (UAF) joint-secretary Weyman Bennett.
The MP condemned police for treating anti-fascist protesters as “morally equivalent” to the English Defence League (EDL), which was allowed to demonstrate in Bolton even though it is “nothing more than a front for violent racist activity.”
A shaken Mr Bennett told an emergency Westminster press conference: “For the last 30 years, I have been on demonstrations to protest against racism and fascism. But this is the first demonstration where I have suffered arrest.”
Demanding a full-scale inquiry, Mr Bennett spoke of “deep anger at the Greater Manchester Police’s heavy-handed confrontational and violent treatment of the anti-fascist protest.”