Francesca Gillett, Evening Standard, December 3, 2017
A hotel which was shamed for hosting a Britain First conference has said it did not realise the booking was from the far-right group.
Wyboston Lakes resort in Bedfordshire was blasted for allowing the controversial and racist organisation to meet there for its conference on Saturday.
Scores of people accused the hotel of “a very poor piece of judgement” with some even urging a boycott of the business.
Pictures posted online by the fringe political group’s leader, Paul Golding, appeared to show dozens of people sitting in room decked out with banners reading: “Taking our country back”.
But the venue, which includes spa, golf and restaurant facilities, has since said it is “unhappy” to be associated with Britain First, adding the room was not booked under the group’s name.
Wyboston Lakes said on Twitter: “We sold a small meeting room on 02/12/17 at the last minute.
“This was not booked by Britain First and the name given did not arouse any suspicions.
“As a company that is proudly diverse and embracing of all cultures and nationalities, we are unhappy to have been associated.”
It comes after US President Donald Trump last week retweeted three anti-Muslim videos posted by Britain First’s deputy leader, Jayda Fransen.
The clips included footage of a group of migrants allegedly assaulting a Dutch boy on crutches and another of a Muslim appearing to damage a statue of the Virgin Mary.
Britain First has since boasted they gained hundreds of new membership applications and said its Facebook posts were reaching hundreds of thousands more users.
Criticism of the hotel on Twitter included one person who wrote: “Shame on them.”
But others defended the venue, saying: “They shouldn’t have to even apologise. They had no reason to suspect it was anything untoward.”
Fransen, 31, from Penge, south-east London, is on bail facing trial over four charges of causing religiously aggravated harassment as part of a Kent Police investigation into the distribution of leaflets and the posting of online videos during a trial held at Canterbury Crown Court in May.
She will go on trial at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court on January 29 alongside Golding who faces three similar charges.