FEARS over political extremism on Canvey have been raised after members of a far right political group were spotted campaigning on the island.

National Front members visited the island and were witnessed distributing flyers and speaking to residents.


Concern - Joel Friedman

The move has led to serious concerns from residents and councillors, who have cited extremist views and anti-Jewish ideas.

However the group strongly hit back at the concerns and say residents on Canvey want the campaign group to represent them.

Joel Friedman, a member of the Jewish community on Canvey has strongly criticised the group and called for action against it.

He said: “I was shocked and sickened to see the National Front newsletter on my doorstep.

“It is obvious they are trying to stir up support and hatred and trying to capitalise on the ‘Brexit’ situation - which has nothing in common with the National Front ideology.

“I am convinced and sincerely hope the good people of Canvey will see them for what they are – a cluster of fascists who don’t deserve the attention they are seeking.

“I call on the relevant Government departments and officials, including our MP Rebecca Harris and the Home Secretary Savid Javid, to outlaw this group and ban it from inciting hatred and tension amongst and against communities.”

Veteran Tory councillor Ray Howard said residents do not want any extremists on Canvey.

He added: “Most people on Canvey are middle-of-the-road and want things done in a proper way.

“I have no issue with people having their own faiths at all but we do not want any groups linked to extremism or anything like that on Canvey.

“We must have democracy and no risk of extremist activity or beliefs.”

Dave Blackwell, Canvey Independent councillor, warned there is "no room" for the group on the island.

He said: “To have extremist groups on the island is disgusting.

“I think people should take no notice of them at all.

“The Jewish community has not, and will not, harm anybody at all and there’s no reason for people to have an issue with the community.”

A number of furious residents also slammed the group on social media.

But Richard Edmonds, a spokesman for National Front, has denied the strong claims from residents and councillors.

He said: “I do not know how anyone can be concerned about a patriotic organisation.

“We campaign for law and order.

“We are not antisemitic.

“We were there as residents asked us to visit Canvey. We do not accept the criticisms that we should not be there.”


Anger - Dave Blackwell