A Dorset man due to stand in the European elections next month has been arrested after quoting Winston Churchill's views on Islam during a speech in Winchester.
Chairman of the Liberty GB party Paul Weston, was speaking on the steps of Winchester Guildhall, Hampshire, on Saturday, when a member of the public complained to police and he was arrested.
He had been reading from Churchill’s book The River War, written in 1899 while he was a British army officer in Sudan.
The candidate in the South East European elections on May 22 was detained after he failed to comply with a request by police to move on under the powers of a dispersal order made against him and he was arrested on suspicion of religious/racial harassment.
A Hampshire police spokesman said: “A 50-year-old man from Dorset was arrested outside Winchester Guildhall at approximately 2.30pm on Saturday April 26 after he failed to comply with a section 27 dispersal order.
“The dispersal order was issued following complaints from members of the public about the man’s behaviour.
“He was further arrested on suspicion of religious/racial harassment. He has been bailed pending further inquiries to report back to police on May 24.”
A Liberty GB spokesman said: “Mr Weston was standing on the steps of Winchester Guildhall, addressing the passers-by in the street with a megaphone. He quoted an excerpt about Islam from the book The River War by Winston Churchill.
“Reportedly, a woman came out of the Guildhall and asked Mr Weston if he had the authorisation to make this speech. When he answered that he didn’t, she told him ’It’s disgusting!’ and then called the police.
“Six or seven officers arrived. They talked with the people standing nearby, asking questions about what had happened. The police had a long discussion with Mr Weston, lasting about 40 minutes.
“At about 3pm he was arrested. They searched him, put him in a police van and took him away.”