COUNTER protesters plan to gather in the city to oppose a far-right rally over the proposed construction of a £3million mosque in Worcester.

76 people have signed up to attend the counter demonstration on Facebook and another 226 have registered an interest in joining them.

The English Defence League (EDL) intends to hold a protest in the city centre over plans to build a new mosque in Stanley Road, Worcester.

West Mercia Police anticipates that both of the demonstrations taking place on Saturday will be peaceful.

Laura Lane, who has organised the counter protest, said: "This should bring people closer together, we are not going to be confrontational at all.

"If you don't stand up to people and ignore things that are going on then hate continues to grow.

"I want to spread positivity to counter balance the negativity of the EDL and show support for the community."

Ms Lane, who is from Kidderminster but often visits Worcester, said she supports plans to build a bigger mosque in the city.

The 26-year-old student, who studies Fine Art at the University of Gloucestershire, plans to hand out copies of a famous poem about Nazi persecution, called 'First they came', to members of the public during the protest.

Superintendent Damian Pettit, police commander for south Worcestershire, said he was aware of discussions about a possible protest in response to the EDL coming to Worcester.

He said: "At this time, we are anticipating peaceful events and would encourage people in Worcester to go about their business as usual on Saturday.

"We are talking to all groups and parties involved, as well as our partner agencies, to ensure a proportionate and appropriate response is in place and to facilitate peaceful events and prevent any crime and disorder.

"We will be monitoring the events and will have sufficient resources in place to respond if any criminal behaviour occurs.”

Worcester Trades Union Council said it was appalled the EDL intended to spread 'politics of hate' on the streets of the city.

Mike Cross, a spokesman for the council, said: "Masquerading as an organisation that opposes extremism, the EDL is in fact the very essence of intolerance and extremism."

The counter protest, titled 'Then They Came for the Jews - EDL Counter Protest', will take place at 1.30pm next to the Edward Elgar statue at the end of Worcester's High Street.