Twenty-four people have been arrested following a demonstration in support of the jailed Tommy Robinson and a counterprotest led by the anti-racist group Stand Up to Racism.
Robinson, real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, was sentenced to nine months in prison last month after he was found to have been in contempt of court.
Supporters of the far-right activist gathered in Oxford Circus on Saturday, chanting “We want Tommy out” as anti-fascist counter-protesters declared that Robinson’s supporters “can’t march unopposed”.
Despite the Metropolitan police imposing strict conditions on the protests, which limited groups to specific areas and certain time periods, attempts to keep the opposing demonstrators apart failed when pro-Robinson supporters moved towards the counter-demonstration.
Among those arrested were three men and one woman who were detained on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.
Thirteen men and one woman were arrested for breaching the conditions imposed by the police on the rally under section 14 of the Public Order Act. A further two men were arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly and two men were arrested for affray.
One man was arrested on suspicion of possessing class A drugs and another was arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon.
Police did not give a breakdown of how arrests were split across the two groups when asked by the Guardian.