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Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield blasts thugs who scrawled offensive phrases over National Trust's White Cliffs of Dover sign

An MP has condemned the 'thugs' who scrawled racist graffiti over a sign welcoming people to the White Cliffs of Dover.

A picture circulating on social media shows the offensive slogans, with the word cliffs covered up, with daubings including a swastika over the board for the National Trust site in Dover.

It was shared today by Charlotte Cornell, who said: "This is disgusting.

"This doesn’t represent the amazing community and welcoming people of Dover that I know."

MP Rosie Duffield, who represents Canterbury, replied to say: "No, it really doesn't.

"That's why, as I mentioned in @HouseofCommons recently, they arrive in coaches from elsewhere.

"Thugs like this are not welcome in Kent."

A man is led away after clashes between anti immigration protesters and Kent Police earlier this month Picture: Kevin Clark
A man is led away after clashes between anti immigration protesters and Kent Police earlier this month Picture: Kevin Clark

The board has also had EDL added to it.

A spokesman for the National Trust said it had discovered 'several acts of vandalism' at its site.

They added: "We found yesterday the main sign has been defaced with racist slogans, but there are also slogans painted onto other signs.

"Our local ranger team is working hard to remove it."

The far-right English Defence League (EDL) was formed in 2009 and largely focuses on what it sees as the Islamification of Britain.

It mainly stages street demonstrations which have often turned to violence, often clashing with anti-fascist protesters.

In 2016, the town was brought to a standstill twice.

In January of that year ugly, violent scenes were witnessed around Folkestone Road as violence erupted at a demo involving pro-refugee groups and far right organisations including the South East Alliance and the National Front.

Right-wing campaigners are kettled in by police in January 2016, just before violence erupted. Picture: Alan Langley
Right-wing campaigners are kettled in by police in January 2016, just before violence erupted. Picture: Alan Langley

Rocks were thrown by both sides and officers seized 20 weapons including a lock-knife, knuckle duster, poles, wood, glass, hammers and bricks.

It led to the convictions of 64 people and jail sentences totalling 85 years being imposed by the courts, some suspended.

Members of the EDL came to Dover in April 2016, again in contrast to members of Kent Anti Racism Network who were holding a unity march on the same day.

Both sides ended up having to be kettled in by police, with a wall of police vans blocking their view of each other.

The far-right groups including the EDL and the South East Alliance went on to the entrance of the Eastern docks where they set light to a European flag.

Ugly scenes during a march held in September.Picture: Kevin Clark
Ugly scenes during a march held in September.Picture: Kevin Clark

Following a summer of migrant crossings hitting the headlines, Dover was the scene of another demonstration earlier this month.

People on both sides of the debate planned a day of action, but 10 people were arrested when anti-immigration protesters clashed with police on the A20, near the docks.

Read more: All the latest from Dover

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