MORE than 500 people turned out to a protest in Worcester to tell EDL supporters that they were not welcome in the city.

Counter-protesters far out-numbered anti-islamic protesters, who had travelled from as far away as Newcastle and Hull, for today’s national EDL demonstration in the Cornmarket.

Around 150 EDL supporters gathered in Angel Place at lunchtime before making their way to the Cornmarket, surrounded by a wall of police.

Many had been escorted from Warndon in minibuses by officers earlier this morning.

Unofficial counter protesters lined the streets with placards and chanted in opposition to the marchers – with police initially preventing them from entering the Cornmarket while the rally was in full swing.

An official counter protest gathered at 2pm in Hill Street car park and, led by dhol drummers, walked down Tallow Hill, through St Martin’s Gate and into City Walls Road to Silver Street - where the two groups of protesters were only allowed within 150 metres of each other.

The protests were the second of their kind in the city but unlike the July demonstration, where violent scuffles broke out in Broad Street, this one passed peacefully with no injuries being reported.

Two people were arrested for breaching dispersal orders. People say the arrests were made for "public safety reasons."

Another arrest was made in relation to criminal damage in and around Angel Place.

A large police operation was launched to manage the event, which EDL supporters said was in protest to plans for a new mosque to be built in Stanley Road.

Officers came from West Mercia, Staffordshire and the West Midlands, working alongside specialist police liaison teams and evidence gathering teams.

There were also mounted units – with police horses and handlers travelling from Avon and Somerset to help with the event.

Police estimated there were 250 counter-protesters at the start of the march but Les Emery, from Worcester, aged 63, a counter protest steward from Unite the Union, insisted it was more like 1,000 people.

He said: “We have had extra buses from Swansea, Cardiff, Bristol, Birmingham and Nuneaton. We had people from Shrewsbury, Bilston, Wolverhampton and Coventry.

“We knew on Thursday there was about 600 to 700 signed up for this but that number has doubled.

“This shows the EDL don’t speak for anyone but themselves and bigotry. The EDL thought they could divide us, but this has just brought us together. “

Anti-EDL protester Lucy Boulton, of Worcester, held a sign saying: “Worcester people don’t even separate their pants by colour”.

She told the Worcester News: “Everybody has the right to protest but I think it’s disgusting that the council have allowed it to happen through the centre of Worcester and tried to stop people of Worcester counter protesting against it [EDL march].

“The EDL have said they are not being racist by protesting against a mosque. How is that not racist?” she added.

Ms Boulton and other counter protesters were eventually able to move into the Cornmarket, while the official opposition protest was segregated by the police.

EDL speakers Tony Curtis and Martin Sculpher encouraged the far-right group’s supporters to ignore the counter protest as it marched passed St Martin’s Gate.

Mr Sculpher informed the crowds he had been a member for nine years and had marched alongside founder Tommy Robinson.

“The lefties are abiding by the Muslims,” he said. “We have been persecuted by the left. We have lost jobs through association and so it goes on and on. We come here for a peaceful protest against the mega mosque. Islam is the enemy of civilisation and the lefties still call us racists. Change the bloody record.”

He continued: “We are not racist and we are not violent. Back to back, soldier to soldier, we all stand. For our children’s children, our England.”

Speaking to the Worcester News, Mr Sculpher said there is no longer a leader of the EDL after the departure of Mr Robinson, who he believes left because “he was persecuted by the public and the media”.

“Horrific things happened to him,” he added.

Danielle McGarrity, 26, an EDL protester, said she is Worcester born and bred – and had attended the march alone.

“Our children come first,” she said. “We are going to have more and more Muslims coming from London and Birmingham and wherever. They should not be here.”

Worcester’s Mayor Jabba Riaz said: "People from all over the UK have come to unite to celebrate diversity.

“Hundreds have come in support of people standing up against a narrative of hate rhetoric that divides.

"We are here in opposition to show that we are about love and togetherness.

"The police operation is extremely good.

"I'm confident this march will pass off peacefully, it will give both sides the opportunity to demonstrate their feelings."

Mohammed Iqbal, general secretary of Worcester Muslim Welfare Association, added: "It's really good to see a lot of support.

"The EDL are not welcome here. We don't want to see them here again."

Chief Superintendent Mark Travis said: "I would like to thank the people and communities of Worcester for their support and patience today, and throughout the whole policing operation.

"I would also like to thank all of our officers and staff, including those from supporting forces, that enabled the demonstrations to pass peacefully and without incident today.

"We engaged with the organisers of both groups which helped to ensure the event was safe for those taking part and for the local community.

"Partners from a range of organisations worked hard to ensure disruption to the area was minimal with some road closures and minor delays whilst protestors and counter-protestors walked from their muster points to assembly points."