Page last updated at 14:29 GMT, Sunday, 22 February 2009

BNP cancels event after match row

Goodison Park
Everton officials will meet on Monday to discuss the development

The British National Party (BNP) has cancelled an event in Liverpool which police said forced them to postpone Everton's match against Stoke.

The Premier League fixture was due to take place at Goodison on Saturday, 14 March, but was switched to Sunday.

Merseyside Police feared it would not have enough officers to police the match and a BNP leafleting event.

The force said it had yet to received confirmation from the party that the city centre event had been cancelled.

Everton Football Club and Premier League officials are meeting on Monday to discuss the situation.

Our role is to facilitate lawful marches whilst ensuring that the safety of the public of Merseyside remains paramount
Dep Ch Con Bernard Lawson, Merseyside Police

Members of the party were due to hand out leaflets in the city centre ahead of the European elections in June, but revealed on Sunday that it was being cancelled.

Deputy BNP leader Simon Darby told the BBC: "It's the right thing to do.

"It's an unholy political row and football is going to be the loser here, so I don't see why Everton and Stoke fans should be inconvenienced.

"And if the police can cancel these fixtures as they seem to do at the drop of a hat, then they can rearrange it now."

Club discussions

Merseyside Police had apologised to fans for getting the fixture rearranged, saying the decision was taken for operational reasons.

Reacting to the BNP announcement, Dep Ch Con Bernard Lawson said: "Merseyside Police is awaiting formal notification from the BNP as to their decision to cancel their event in Liverpool city centre on March 14."

"Merseyside Police has, and always will, remain neutral on such matters.

"Our role is to facilitate lawful marches whilst ensuring that the safety of the public of Merseyside remains paramount.

"We will discuss with Everton Football Club any alterations that may be requested for the Everton versus Stoke City fixture."

The match is still scheduled to take place at 1500 GMT on Sunday, 15 March.



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Match switched due to BNP event
22 Feb 09 |  Merseyside

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