Right wing extremists from the British National Party staged a noisy demo and exchanged insults with counter-demonstrators in protest by the Socialist Worker's Party.
The scenes came outside an arts and leisure centre in Liverpool where an edition of BBC Question Time was recorded. Demonstrators were kept apart by ranks of police and contained in separate areas outside an art and leisure centre in the city.
Tory housing minister Grant Shapps joined the debate with fellow panelists Labour's former Europe minister Caroline Flint MP, Janet Street-Porter, Lib Dem Tim Farron and newspaper columnist Peter Oborne. The debate was held at the Contemporary Urban Centre, in Greenland Street, on the last day of the five-day Labour Party Conference in Liverpool.
The BNP, who were mainly from Walkden and County Durham, staged the demo in protest at the decision not to invite its leader and North West MEP Nick Griffin to join the debate. Organiser Adam Walker, 42, from County Durham, used a loud speaker to make his feelings about the BBC known. He said: "A Freedom of Information request revealed to us the BBC is full of child rapists, paedophiles and murderers".
When challenged about who exactly he meant, he said "Leslie Dennis". It is thought Mr Walker meant former EastEnders actor Leslie Grantham who served 10 years in prison for killing a German taxi-driver.
Some BNP protesters were hostile to the press, swearing at journalists until they moved away to the other side of the anti-protesting side of the police barricade. During the slanging match between the two sides, one right-wing extremist told a black protester: "Africa is that way".
Children skating and riding their BMX's on the newly paved New Bird urban skate park looked on. One 14 year-old from Toxteth said: "It's disgusting what they're doing. They're racist."
Merseyside Police also became the target for one protester during the heated exchanges, who refused to give his name. He shouted: "Scum of the streets; racist just like the police," before being moved away from the demo which passed-off without any arrests.
Thomas Jenkins, 55, from Liverpool said: "I think the BNP are a spent force. Nick Griffin is trying to bolster his image in Liverpool but I don't know why. We certainly don't want them on the streets of Liverpool."