Euro election candidate Paul Weston arrested in Winchester

Officers arrest Paul Weston outside Winchester Guildhall

Officers arrest Paul Weston outside Winchester Guildhall

First published in Winchester

A EUROPEAN election candidate has been arrested on suspicion of “religious or racial harassment” in Winchester.

Liberty GB candidate Paul Weston had been reading a Winston Churchill quote describing Islam as “militant” and “retrograde” through a megaphone outside Winchester's Guildhall on Saturday afternoon.

Standing on the steps of the Guildhall, he addressed passers-by with an excerpt from former Prime Minister Churchill's book The River War, written in 1899 while he was a British army officer in the Sudan.

Police were called after complaints from members of the public, and the 50-year-old, from Dorset, was told to disperse but failed to do so.

A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said: “He was further arrested on suspicion of religious or racial harassment. He has been bailed pending further enquiries to report back to police on May 24.”

He is one of three Liberty GB candidates standing to represent the South East as MEPs.

His party's six-point manifesto argues for a “rejection of the notion of Britain as a global no-man's land upon which any of the world's teeming millions may lay claim” and the upholding of “Christian ethics and Western civilization”.

Defending his actions, Mr Weston said: “I thought there was no point in competing with UKIP in terms of talking about the European Union, so I would talk to the people of Winchester about Islam.”

But he has been heavily criticised by fellow MEP candidates.

Liberal Democrat candidate Antony Hook described Liberty GB as holding “unpleasant and deeply Islamophobic” views.

He said: “If someone has gone out and started to espouse their hatred then I think that is absolutely disgraceful.”

They are two of 118 candidates from 15 parties taking part in the election, which will be held on May 22.

Comments (4)

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2:30pm Mon 28 Apr 14

Orwell's Ghost says...

Anjem Choudary is free to shout bile and hatred while the police stand by and facilitate his freedom of speech, regardless of anyone else's feelings. Yet an election candidate quoting the greatest British leader of all time gets arrested. If articulating the words of somebody else on the steps of Winchester's Guildhall is an arrestable offence, then we must acknowledge we do not live in a free country. If we allow the State to decide how much freedom we can and can't have because it offends somebody else's feelings, then we are on the very road to the totalitarianism that Churchill defeated.
Anjem Choudary is free to shout bile and hatred while the police stand by and facilitate his freedom of speech, regardless of anyone else's feelings. Yet an election candidate quoting the greatest British leader of all time gets arrested. If articulating the words of somebody else on the steps of Winchester's Guildhall is an arrestable offence, then we must acknowledge we do not live in a free country. If we allow the State to decide how much freedom we can and can't have because it offends somebody else's feelings, then we are on the very road to the totalitarianism that Churchill defeated. Orwell's Ghost
  • Score: 33

8:19am Tue 29 Apr 14

Eastleigh Bloke says...

" ...the 50-year-old, from Dorset, was told to disperse but failed to do so. "

How can one person disperse? "Move on" maybe, but disperse?
" ...the 50-year-old, from Dorset, was told to disperse but failed to do so. " How can one person disperse? "Move on" maybe, but disperse? Eastleigh Bloke
  • Score: 9

9:37am Wed 30 Apr 14

displaced_indigene says...

The Police in Hants are extremely poorly led, by a PC useful idiot. They are making it up as they go along, and applying the most outrageous double standards. Don't forget, massive police incompetence results in rapid promotion.
The Police in Hants are extremely poorly led, by a PC useful idiot. They are making it up as they go along, and applying the most outrageous double standards. Don't forget, massive police incompetence results in rapid promotion. displaced_indigene
  • Score: 2

5:11am Sun 11 May 14

NickMcAvelly says...

"Islamophobia" doesn't even exist. It's just a meaningless, made up word. The UN Special Rapporteur has stated very clearly, time and time again, that people are protected by human rights law but RELIGIOUS BELIEFS ARE NOT!
"Islamophobia" doesn't even exist. It's just a meaningless, made up word. The UN Special Rapporteur has stated very clearly, time and time again, that people are protected by human rights law but RELIGIOUS BELIEFS ARE NOT! NickMcAvelly
  • Score: 0

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