CAMPAIGNERS looking at immigration issues in Spalding say they feel “victimised” after claiming they were asked to leave two of the town’s pubs.
Members of Spalding Immigration Issues say they were approached by staff at both The Ivy Wall and the Pied Calf as they attempted to hold a “meet and greet” first meeting on Saturday.
Dean Everitt, who helped to set up the Facebook group, said he was told Lincolnshire Police had contacted both premises after the group had gone inside each one.
He says they were expecting no more than ten people to turn up and the group had sat in the smoking area for both pubs away from other customers.
Mr Everitt insists there was “nothing whatsoever” which could be considered inflammatory: “The conversation revolved around where the group was going to go and the main issues, which are anti-social behaviour and street drinking.
“Nothing along the lines of ‘bloody foreigners’. We are not a racist group.”
The meeting had been advertised on the Facebook group page.
Mr Everitt said the manager of Wetherspoons’ The Ivy Wall had asked them to leave because of the “conversation topic”. He said they then attempted to move into the Pied Calf.
He added: “We feel we have been victimised for what we are doing.”
Jean Rowe, manager of the Pied Calf, confirmed she received a telephone call from Lincolnshire Police asking for officers to be notified if there was any trouble.
She said: “I decided that it was a meeting in a public place that they were having and it was not politically correct.
“Whether you agree or not is beside the point. If they are going to have a meeting on a subject as sensitive as they were, they should not have it in a public place.
“I said they were quite welcome to have a drink but if any customers overheard anything that was not politically correct they would be asked to leave. They chose to leave.”
A Wetherspoons spokesman said the firm “fully supports” the actions of the manager of The Ivy Wall.
Superintendent Paula Wood, on behalf of Lincolnshire Police, said the force would not “tolerate racism of any kind”.
She added: “We would urge members of the public to report any concerns they have.”