Racism probe after NF mob abuse girl, 7, at Liverpool club
The venue, the Cricketers in Wavertree, was at the centre of a row over far-right extremists in 2011
Police are investigating allegations that a seven-year-old girl suffered racist abuse at the hands of far-right extremists at a Liverpool club as she accompanied her mother to book a wedding reception.
The girl’s mother and partner went to the Cricketers club in Wavertree when they stumbled on a meeting of at least 14 National Front activists. The couple claimed that as soon as they walked into the room many of the men at the meeting began to shout at the girl to “get back to where she came from” and made monkey noises.
The daughter is of mixed race because her father was from Sierra Leone, but both her mother and her new partner are white.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said the news of the incident had “made him sick to the pit of his stomach” and police said they were “disgusted” by the claims.
Last night the couple – who have asked not to be named – said they were disgusted and that there was no doubt the abuse was directed at their daughter.
The owners of the club have told the ECHO the National Front booked the room over the phone claiming to be a group of teachers, and that they would never be allowed to meet there again.
But the couple, aged 30 and 31, said no attempt had been made to turf them out of the venue, which they had decked out with Union flags and banners emblazoned with nationalist slogans.
The girl’s mother, of South Liverpool, said their wedding plans were now in disarray because they would not set foot in the venue again.
She told the ECHO: “They were shouting and telling her to **** off back to where she came from and making monkey noises.
“Luckily, she did not really know what was going on, but I’ve brought her up to know that although she has different coloured skin she is the same as everyone else.
“If she had understood what they were saying it could have scarred her for life.”
It is understood that when the National Front arrived they taped over CCTV cameras, but the ECHO has learned that some footage has been recovered by police.
Mayor Anderson said he was disgusted by the incident, adding: “It’s hard to believe that so-called human beings can stoop to this sort of level.
“Thankfully the little girl doesn’t seem to have understood what was going on, but these would not have known that, they wouldn’t have given a toss.
“We must be seen to challenge this kind of abhorrent behaviour and be tough on it when it is exposed.”
The latest incident, last Wednesday night, is not the first time the Cricketers has been at the centre of a row over far-right extremists. In 2011, the British National Party booked it for its annual conference, attended by leader Nick Griffin.
The club’s owner Brian Washington said at the time that he had no knowledge that it was the BNP who had hired the venue until they arrived. Sanctions imposed on the club’s licence by the council were overturned on appeal, with the judge branding them “excessive and unnecessary”.
Last night, Mr Washington told the ECHO he had not known the National Front had booked the room until they arrived, and was co-operating fully with the police investigation.
He added he was also seeking police advice about his rights to ban the BNP from ever returning.
Mr Washington said: “The National Front are banned from here for life and as soon as I get an address for them I will be sending them notice of that officially and I will also send a copy to the police.”
He added he had no sympathy with extremism, and at the weekend had an African group booked in to the venue.
Merseyside Police Detective Inspector Lisa Mahon said: “This has been a very distressing incident for a young girl and her family.
“I share her family’s disgust, as clearly this alleged behaviour is not acceptable. A full investigation into the incident is underway and I would urge anyone with any information to come forward.
“We are working closely with the family and specialist SIGMA officers, along with our partners, are offering the family support, along with our partners.
“We have also spoken to residents in the area to reassure them that we are doing all that we can and to see if they have any information that can assist in our investigation.”
The National Front did not respond to the ECHO’s request for comment.
Editorial. Poor Old Brian Washington. Didn’t know it was the NF. Didn’t know it was the BNP. Didn’t know that Mike Whitby had highjacked his pigeon shed. Hires his club out to thugs who racially abuse a girl of seven! Wonder if he knows which day of the week it is?