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Britain First deputy Fransen re-arrested after court appearance on hate charges

16 December 2017

Britain First styles itself as a political party but has been condemned by campaigners as a far-right extremist group.

The deputy leader of far-right group Britain First has appeared in court in Belfast accused of behaviour intended or likely to stir up hatred.

Ms Fransen broke the news of his arrested on Twitter and revealed the police have also applied to the court to ban her from making public speeches and from using social media while she awaits the conclusion of her case.

He has been bailed to appear at Belfast Magistrates' Court in January.

"A 31-year-old woman, arrested today, Thurs, 14 Dec, has been charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour", the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said in a statement.

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"If they don't work, she'll be brought back to court and she will be in custody". In it she claimed "we are descending into a civil war" with Islam and that it was time for the British people to stand up and fight to gain control of their country.

She was re-arrested shortly after the legal proceedings over fresh comments made earlier this week beside a wall dividing Catholics from Protestants in the city to prevent violence during the Troubles.

She raised her fist skyward in the dock after she was granted bail at Belfast Magistrates' Court, while around a dozen supporters clapped and cheered in the public gallery.

Her lawyer, Richard McConkey, said the curbs on her freedom of speech would be disproportionate for a politician.

"He has been taken to Musgrave PSNI station for interview".

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She was arrested by PSNI detectives in London last month.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall expressed doubts about whether her jurisdiction extended to Ms Fransen's social media use.

She is due to appear in court in Belfast again on Friday morning.

Fransen is on bail facing trial over four unrelated charges of causing religiously aggravated harassment as part of a Kent Police investigation into the distribution of leaflets and the posting of online videos during a trial held at Canterbury Crown Court in May.

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Britain First deputy Fransen re-arrested after court appearance on hate charges