SDL and anti-fascist demos peaceful

Rival protests by a far-right group and anti-fascists have passed off peacefully, police have said.

The Scottish Defence League (SDL) held a static protest outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, while Unite Against Fascism organised its own counter-protest.

Police said that around 60 people attended the SDL event, which lasted for around 45 minutes. The majority arrived by coach.

Meanwhile Unite Against Fascism said its march from the City Chambers on the Royal Mile to the Parliament attracted over 300 people. Police put the figure at around 250.

Lothian and Borders Police created a "sterile" area outside Holyrood, with the two groups separated by barriers and accompanied by police officers. Members of the public were kept away from the area.

Speaking after the event, Luke Henderson, co-ordinator for Unite Against Fascism, said: "The march was absolutely fantastic and we were very happy that we had a great turn out.

"Our march had representatives from the many diverse communities that make Edinburgh a vibrant and open city."

Police said that no arrests were made during either demonstration and disruption to the public was kept to a minimum.

Chief Superintendent Malcolm Graham said: "Lothian and Borders Police are well-versed in hosting demonstrations such as these and considerable planning was undertaken along with our various partner agencies to ensure today passed without any problems.

"We will continue to provide a high-visibility presence throughout the city centre today to offer reassurance to the public and deter criminal activity. I would like to thank the public for their assistance and co-operation during this operation."