The leader of Britain First and his deputy were both arrested today after arriving in Belfast for a court hearing over alleged ‘abusive’ speeches.
Paul Golding was detained in the Northern Irish capital before Jayda Fransen appeared before a court accused of behaviour intended or likely to stir up hatred.
Golding’s arrest and Fransen’s court appearance were in relation to a demonstration they attended in Belfast on August 6.
But Fransen was then re-arrested after her court hearing over an incident just yesterday at a peace wall in the city.
Fransen appeared in a video posted online yesterday, apparently filmed in Belfast, in which she spoke about ‘civil war’ in the UK.
A police spokesman said: ‘Detectives investigating speeches made at the Northern Ireland Against Terrorism Rally on Sunday 6th August this year have arrested a 35 year old man today in the Belfast area.
‘He has been taken to Musgrave PSNI Station for interview. There are no further details at this stage. ‘
The spokesman later added: ‘Detectives investigating an incident at a peace wall in Belfast on Wednesday 14th December, have arrested a 31 year old woman in the Belfast area today.’
Golding and Fransen were pictured arriving at the courthouse this morning and later tweeted a photo of themselves together.
But, during the morning, it emerged Golding had been arrested and taken to a local police station for questioning.
Fransen, 31, then appeared before magistrates to face two counts in connection with comments made at a demonstration this summer.
She is accused of behaviour intending or likely to stir up hatred or fear by using words which were ‘threatening, abusive or insulting’.
Defence counsel Richard McConkey confirmed Fransen will be fighting the allegations. ‘I can indicate there will be not guilty pleas to both charges,’ he said.
Fransen was bailed to return to court next month.
As part of her bail conditions she is banned from being within 500 metres of a public demonstration or rally.
Police and prosecutors sought the restriction amid public order concerns.
The detective claimed that a ‘Free Speech for Jayda’ rally was planned to take place in Belfast last weekend – only being postponed due to snow.
Fransen was thrown into the international spotlight when US President Donald Trump shared three videos she had posted on her Twitter feed.
The first was a clip supposedly showing a Muslim migrant beating up a Dutch boy on crutches.
Seconds later, retweeted a video showing what she claims to be a Muslim man destroying a statue of the Virgin Mary.
And the third video posted in quick succession to his 43.6million followers was by far the most disturbing – a video showing an alleged Islamic group throwing a teenager off a roof before beating him to death.
The President’s re-tweeting of the videos led to international outcry and prompted renewed calls for his planned visit to the UK to be cancelled.