Firework Thrown At Policewoman

17 August 2013, 05:31 | Updated: 18 August 2013, 11:26

Police in Portsmouth have arrested a man on suspicion of throwing a firework at a female police officer.

It happened during a march through the city by the far-right English Defence League on Saturday 17th August in protest at a Muslim school opening in September.

The officer was said to be 'shaken' but she wasn't hurt.

Campaigners from Unite Against Fascism held their own protest against the EDL at the same time.

The city council has sold Merefield House in Buckland to a Muslim community group who say pupils from all religions will be welcomed.

Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said:"Portsmouth City Council has sold Merefield House, on the corner of Lake Road and Fratton Road, as it no longer needs the building and it is surplus to requirements.

"The council marketed it and has sold it, for hundreds of thousands of pounds, to a group within the Muslim community in the city, as they were the highest bidders by a significant amount.

"There were other offers to buy the site, from property developers, but none offered such a large amount of money to the council.

"The group within the Muslim community are committing to run a school on this site, and like St John’s Cathedral Catholic Primary School  and St Edmund's Catholic School in the city, will welcome pupils from all religions.

"The EDL are having a march to protest that this will be a Muslim-only school. The trustees of the school have given assurances that this is not the case."

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said:

"Hampshire Constabulary is committed to protecting ethnic minorities and faith groups from intimidation, harassment or hate-crimes."