A large-scale brawl broke out today at a Labour Party-linked, Muslim community centre in Leeds in the northern of England. The video (below), caught on a mobile phone before being uploaded to Facebook, depicted a violent scuffle between two warring sides of the Bangladeshi Community. Facebook users familiar with the situation claimed the row broke out due to ongoing tensions over who runs the centre, which has served as a hub of political activity for the local Labour Party as well as national Labour figures.
Local police were caught in the middle of the violence. The video
shows chairs being hurled across the room, with police officers being
tugged back and forth between those attempting to fight. At one point, a
policeman is shown to punch one man in the face as he tries to wrestle
his truncheon from him.
The Bangladeshi Community Centre is in the Roundhay Road in the
Harehills area, just north-east of Leeds City Centre. It has been used
as a congregating point for Palestinian activists, Labour Party
officials, and the Islamic Relief charity, which has held a number of
events in the building.
Specifically, Labour councillor Asghar Khan (pictured left with
former Labour leader Ed Miliband) – who has campaigned alongside Shadow
Foreign Secretary Hillary Benn – has repeatedly been pictured at the
As has Cllr Ghulam Hussain, pictured (below right) with Labour’s
acting leader Harriet Harman. The pair are key campaigners for the Leeds
Labour Party, and between them have also been pictured with Labour’s
new MPs for the area, as well as other high profile figures. It is not
yet known whether the pair were present at today’s brawl.
In 2012, Islamic Relief used the community centre to host separate
fundraising events for Syrian and Palestinian causes. Islamic Relief has
been the subject of controversy around the world in recent years, with
the Israeli and UAE governments both banning the organisation for its
involvement with terrorism. Islamic Relief strongly denies these
allegations, and claims that its own internal audit has cleared it of
Meanwhile, local police in Leeds are putting extra resources onto the streets of Harehills in order to reassure locals.
A statement from local police said: “Officers were called to the
Bangladeshi Centre, Roundhay Road in Leeds around 12.30pm today
following reports of a disturbance where it is believed four people have
“A number of arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing as to
the circumstances of the incident. Increased Neighbourhood Patrols will
be in the area to reassure the local community.”
It is not the first time an altercation has occurred at the venue. In 2013, the Yorkshire Evening Post reports a fight on the morning of Eid celebrations.