A Conservative North West Euro MP said he was left fearing for his safety after a large group of English Defence League protesters descended on his family home.
Sajjad Karim said he felt intimidated and threatened when 35 protesters from the far-right extremist group turned up outside his house in Simonstone in the Ribble Valley on Saturday afternoon. The group of men and women carrying placards went into Mr Karim’s garden and began shouting abuse at him, before peering through his windows and filming his house at around 12.45pm.
Mr Karim, who was in the house with his wife, Zahida, and two children, 10-year-old Bilal, and Rabia, eight, at the time of the protest, said: “They were incredibly intimidating and they were all over my driveway and looking into my house. I had my family in the house and it is just disgusting that they were able to do this. My daughter has been left petrified.”
The protesters remained outside Mr Karim’s house for more than 20 minutes before they were escorted off the premises by police.
“I am being repeatedly targeted by these people and I am worried about my safety and that of my family when I am away from home. They know where I live and they now have video footage of my house which could end up on the internet,” he said.
Last year, Mr Karim said he was forced to hire a private security firm to guard his home 24 hours a day because of threats from members of far-right groups. He has also been bombarded with offensive emails over his stance on halal and kosher meat. And in the past his Ribble Valley home has also had ‘BNP’ daubed on it in graffiti.
Lancashire Police said they were investigating the incident.
Mr Karim, who represents the North West in the European Parliament, said there had been an ‘orchestrated’ campaign against him. He said: “These incidents are escalating and now they have the gall to turn up outside my house. I am being specifically targeted and the police need to take these threats seriously.”
Police confirmed that the protesters moved on to the Brierfield area after leaving Mr Karim’s house. Four people were arrested in Brierfield on suspicion of violent public disorder offences.
A post on the Blackburn Division EDL facebook page on Saturday described four ‘flash demos’ in the North West area, including one in Lancashire.