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Britain First activist Mandy Smith from Canterbury admits assault during Margate anti-Ukip protests

By Bess Browning

A Britain First activist arrested during clashes with anti-Ukip protestors has admitted assaulting a demonstrator.

Mandy Smith, from Canterbury, is said to have retaliated after a camera was reportedly pointed at her face at the party’s spring conference at Margate’s Winter Gardens.

The 50-year-old was part of a group of activists who gathered outside the venue after declaring on Facebook they were “defending Nigel Farage from the leftwing rabble”.

Mandy Smith was arrested on suspicion of assault. Picture: Britain First Facebook
Mandy Smith was arrested on suspicion of assault. Picture: Britain First Facebook

The incident happened after demonstrators - led by Thanet Stand up to Ukip - marched up the hill to protest at the conference on Saturday.

Britain First posted on its Facebook page that Mandy Smith had been arrested.

It added fellow activists had “invaded” the police station to “support her” and later posted: “A big well done to Mandy and the other south east activists who defended the Ukip meeting yesterday.

“Freedom of speech will prevail.”

Britain First leader Paul Golding also posted support for Smith, later saying she was wrongfully arrested after pushing a camera away from her face.

Smith was dealt with by a method called restorative practice, in which she gave the victim - who suffered no injuries - a verbal apology.

Demonstrators at the Ukip conference
Demonstrators at the Ukip conference

For the method to be used, offenders must admit the offence, but they are not left with a criminal conviction.

Police spokesman Lisa Humphrys said: “A 50-year-old woman from Canterbury, who was arrested in Margate on suspicion of assault has been dealt with by way of restorative practice in liaison with the victim.

“Apart from this one incident, there have not been any physical confrontations and the protest was generally conducted peacefully.

“As with all such events, the primary role of Kent Police is to work with the partners to facilitate peaceful protest while ensuring public safety.”

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