"Owner" and promoter share far right propaganda.
Last week far right activist, fake journalist and serially convicted criminal Stephen Yaxley-Lennon announced plans for a book launch in Manchester.
The co-founder of the English Defence League (EDL) revealed he would speak at Bowlers Exhibition Centre (BEC) in support of his latest money-grubbing stunt.
Following his announcement many expected BEC to pull the rug from a man with convictions ranging from football hooliganism, assault, mortgage fraud and entering the United States on a false passport.
The suspicion was that the venue had been booked under false pretences. This is, after all, the standard modus operandi of far right groups.
That suspicion heightened when the Liverpool-based booking agency which had been selling tickets for the event, withdrew them from sale.
Ticket Quarter told the Liverpool Echo that “as soon as it was made aware” of the listing on its website and the “content of the event” it removed the post – and insisted that it was not promoting or selling the tickets.”
Eyes turned to the venue, the expectation being it would swiftly follow suit. This was not to be so. The Huffington Post reported managing director Simon Colderley saying:
“Bowlers Exhibition Centre has no political opinions or political agenda. We are a multi purpose exhibition centre that host a diverse range of events.
“We have taken a booking for Tommy Robinson’s official book launch on Friday 3rd Nov 2017. The book launch is a private ticket only event targeting Mr Robinson’s supporters and has been only promoted through his official social media platforms.”
He added the venue had also been swayed by the fact that Yaxley-Lennon had promised to donate any profits to the Manchester bomb appeal. Should there be any it is debatable whether the families would be willing to accept them from a man who so quickly sought to trade off their grief.
But whilst Mr Colderley assures that BEC is apolitical it seems some of his close business associates are not.
Mark Lambert, sole director of BEC Management Limited, claims on one of his Facebook pages to be owner of Bowlers. His profiles are littered with plugs for events at the venue.
He also seems to have a liking for Yaxley-Lennon, having before the book launch announcement shared the Lutonian thug’s promotional video for a far right protest in Sunderland.
He also thought it worthwhile to spread a much-derided article which sought to defend Yaxley-Lennon’s reputation as a hate preacher.
Among his business associates is Andy Kleek, director of event and exhibitions organiser, For The Love of the Force Limited. Kleek has promoted many events at BEC, including the Northern Ska Festival.
It’s more than possible that he’s not shared his political views with artists and DJs he’s promoted such as Manchester legends Dave Haslam and Clint Boon. Those ska acts are also no doubt blissfully unaware.
He surely didn’t tell them that he gleefully attended Yaxley-Lennon’s last Manchester protest.
This saw drunken louts lobbing bottles, fireworks and racist abuse at the locals. A Sikh community group manning, as usual, a stall to feed the homeless had to flee Piccadilly Gardens in the face of yobbish and racist intimidation.
The Independent reported that the Sikh Sewa Organisation posted on Facebook:
“Sadly our usual spot in Piccadilly Gardens was over run by the EDL mindless thugs and we had to scarper for our own safety, as they were becoming abusive to the volunteers. It became really scary for us.”
Anyone who witnessed events that day knows that this was neither a peaceful protest nor one that would do anything to combat terrorism. It was also not wanted by the city whose response to the terrible Arena atrocity has been to further unite, not divide.
After the media had correctly reported on the yobbery that had occurred, he called them out as liars. This, remember, is a man who seems to think Paul Joseph Watson and Stephen Yaxley-Lennon are journalists.
There is plenty of video evidence to show the media called it right. It’s clear from which direction the bottles and the bangers came.
The delightful Mr Kleek also takes offence at Sadiq Khan. Apparently he’s a “racist c*nt” and needs to go.” So much for the democratic wishes of Londoners. A bloke in Manchester says you’ve got to go Sadiq. He saw a Paul Joseph Watson video you see.
Whilst Simon Colderley appears blameless in all this, his associates do not. It is perhaps time he reconsidered the booking BEC has accepted from Yaxley-Lennon.
After all, it cannot be good for a business that books such diverse acts to be associated with the far right.