Police have asked for more details of a British National Party conference coming to Derbyshire so that they can plan the security operation. The party, which held its Red, White and Blue festival in Denby for three years, has announced that its annual conference will take place in South Derbyshire in December.
Anti-fascist groups are planning protests during the three-day event. Security at the Red, White and Blue festival cost police £500,000 a year but Superintendent Gary Parkin said he expected the conference bill to be lower.
He said: "We have had no confirmation of where the conference will take place or how many people are expected to attend. We are pressing the BNP for these details. We do not anticipate that the policing operation will be as large as the occasions when the Red, White and Blue Festival was held in the county."
The BNP said it would not reveal the exact location of the conference "because it is usually threatened by the left". But it confirmed that leader Nick Griffin would be the keynote speaker.
Last year's conference was held near Wigan and attracted protests from groups such as Unite Against Fascism. Protesters gathered outside the conference venue, chanting "Black and white unite and fight" and "Smash the BNP". Dozens of police were called to separate rival factions.
Graham Lewis, secretary of Derby Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, said: "We will definitely be holding a protest, although we do not expect to be facing large numbers of supporters, because of the current division in the BNP. We would aim to keep it peaceful. We have no intention of turning it into a fist fight."
He said he would be "trying everything possible" to discover where the conference was being held.
Mr Griffin has written to BNP supporters, urging them to book a place at the 2010 conference. He wrote: "We are pleased to announce the BNP's Annual Conference 2010, which will take place at a first-class venue in the South Derbyshire area on December 10 to 12. This year's conference, unlike previous events, is going to be a spectacular combination of political speeches, audio-visual displays, training, policy debates, stalls and entertainment."
It would be at a "four-star venue complete with restaurant, bar and a whole range of suitable accommodation to fit your needs", he said.
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