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Tory MP James Gray urges the people of Wootton Bassett to ignore a Muslim group that plans protest against British troops' "genocide" in Afghanistan

Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire has become respected throughout Britain for the way its people have lined the streets to honour the bodies of dead British soldiers that pass through the town after landing at nearby RAF Lyneham.

It has been reported today that an extremist group, Islam4UK, are planning to march through Wootton Bassett, in order to draw attention to the Muslims who have died in recent conflicts. The group accuses British soldiers of "genocide" and fighting a "Crusade" in an incendiary statement on their website. The local Conservative MP James Gray has issued the following statement:

“The people of Wootton Bassett who turn out in rain or shine, week in week out, to honour our fallen service men, and I have been glad to be there for most of the repatriations, do so out of respect for those who have been killed in service of their Queen and Country and obeying orders from their officers and ultimately from Parliament. It is my experience that those who stand with me down the High Street are expressing really no political view on the war at all, either in favour or against.

For that reason, I, and I hope most local people, will equally avoid taking part in the controversy over any such planned march. I suspect that the police will not allow it to go ahead anyhow. But if it does, I hope that the people of Wootton Bassett will ignore it, and just go about their business in the ordinary way.

Of course I disagree with what these people are saying and reportedly planning to do, but it is my view that the best antidote to it is to ignore it, treat it with disdain, contempt, or even mild humour. What these people are looking for is a reaction of outrage. We should not justify their foolishness by giving it to them.”

Tim Montgomerie

8.15pm: ITN report:


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