Hotel to split Britain First conference fee between three charities

The hotel that inadvertently hosted the conference of far-right group Britain First has pledged to split the room hire fee between charities including one set up in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox.

The Wyboston Lakes resort in Bedfordshire, which was criticised online for allowing the controversial organisation to hold a meeting there, said it was "deeply offended" by the presence of the group's members.

A spokesman said the hotel management had rounded up the £2,250 fee paid for the room to £3,000 and would give three charities £1,000 each.

Those charities include the Jo Cox Foundation, which was established in the wake of the Labour parliamentarian's murder at the hands of right-wing extremist Thomas Mair in June 2016, as well as homeless charity Beyond Food and Bedfordshire and District Cerebral Palsy.

It comes after Britain First hit headlines around the world when US President Donald Trump retweeted anti-Muslim videos posted by the fringe group's deputy leader Jayda Fransen.

Pictures from the event last weekend posted online by the group's leader Paul Golding appeared to show dozens of people sitting in a small room decked with banners declaring "Taking Our Country Back!".

Screen-grabbed image taken from Donald Trump's Twitter account
Screen-grabbed image taken from Donald Trump's Twitter account

The resort faced criticism online when details emerged of the conference, the location of which had not been made public by the group.

The meeting was booked at short notice under the name Patriot Merchandise, a resort spokesman previously said, and did not appear to have any obvious connections to Britain First.

Patriot Merchandise is listed at Companies House as a private limited company based in Belfast.

No staff entered the meeting room during the event and the banners were erected only in the "closed off conference room", the resort's spokesman said.

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