A talk by the controversial columnist Katie Hopkins was cancelled last night (Saturday) after a demonstration by around 100 protestors.
Ms Hopkins had been due to appear at the All Saints Centre in Friars Walk as part of the Lewes Speakers Festival at around 6.45pm, but the event was called off after police raised concerns for her safety.
Writing on twitter after the event was cancelled Ms Hopkins said: “Protestors in Lewes. Please be clear. I have left the building. Please disperse peacefully. My thanks to @sussex_police.”
Earlier this month an attempt to prevent her visit on health and safety grounds was heavily defeated at a meeting of Lewes Town Council.
A motion by Cllr Tony Rowell said Ms Hopkins had made “numerous derogatory and odious comments”.
These would not provide a safe environment for staff, volunteers, audience or participants at the council-owned and run All Saints Centre, said Cllr Rowell, and discouraged equal opportunities and good race relations.
He said he feared that large numbers of people would turn up to protest on both sides and the venue would be ill-equipped to cope with a situation “that might escalate causing a Health and Safety risk to staff, participants and audience”.
Cllr Rowell said her invitation “breaches the policy and guiding principles of the centre” and the council should not allow any of its premises to be used by Ms Hopkins or anyone else that breaches its policies in future.
But his motion for the council to cancel the booking was defeated. Of the 16 councillors present at the meeting, 11 voted against and three in favour. There were two abstentions.