Southend landlady fears for business after attack over EDL meet

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

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Police were called to a demonstration after the EDL turned up at the Borough Hotel
Police were called to a demonstration after the EDL turned up at the Borough Hotel
A Southend landlady said she fears for her business after protestors attacked the venue for allowing English Defence League (EDL) members to meet in the pub.

Anti-fascist protestors have launched a Facebook campaign urging drinkers to boycott the Borough Hotel, after licensee Nicola Tiney let in members of the far-right group on Saturday 15 June.

The "Boycott the Borough Hotel" Facebook page, which has 220 ‘likes’, features comments stating that the venue is "used and managed by fascists" and "must be avoided at all costs".

Reggae band Goldmaster Allstars have also cancelled their 6 July gig, saying they "feel they can no longer be associated" with the venue.

Tiney told the Publican’s Morning Advertise​r the response has affected her "terribly". She said she is not an EDL supporter and insisted the pub had not hosted an official meeting.

"They asked if they could meet in here for a drink and I said yes as long as there’s no trouble. They were as good as gold – they were just drinking," she said.

"If I start stopping people from coming in that’s when I’m going to start getting called racist. I respect and get on with everybody who respects and gets on with me," she added.

Tiney removed the pub’s own Facebook page after protestors attacked her decision to let in EDL members. One comment read: "It isn’t safe to bring your children in here. It is home to neo-Nazis of Essex and the owner is a fascist herself."

Tiney said the comments were defamatory and she has sought legal advice. She plans to write an email to Facebook to demand that the campaign page is removed and warns that she will sue if it is not taken down.

"It’s affected me terribly," she continued. "They’re trying to take the business down and it’s not right. All my regulars know I’m not like what these people are saying. But I don’t need people reading about it."

Tiney estimates around 30 members of the EDL met at the pub while about 15 anti-fascist protestors turned up to give a demonstration. Several police officers were outside the venue throughout the day to ensure there was no violence, but Tiney said the two groups had an argument over the police barriers.

"I’m not supporting the EDL but there was no trouble at all until these other people came to cause trouble," she said. "But if I turn round and say I don’t want them in they’re going to call me racist. I’m in a no win situation."

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