Three arrested after clashes outside migrant hotel in Britain

LONDON – UK police have arrested three people on suspicion of violent disorder during an anti-immigration demonstration by far-right protesters outside a hotel used to house asylum seekers near Liverpool.

The protest came amid heightened tensions as record numbers of migrants are crossing the Channel in small boats, prompting the interior ministry to come up with a controversial plan to send such asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Merseyside Police said “missiles” had been thrown at officers and a police vehicle was damaged after several hundred demonstrators rallied late on Friday outside The Suites Hotel in Knowsley.

Asylum seeker advocacy groups said the protesters were affiliated to far-right groups, while it was unclear who organised the demonstration.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul White said: “The scenes… were completely unacceptable, putting those present, our officers and the wider community in danger.”

Merseyside police commissioner Emily Spurrell told Radio City station: “It was incredibly dangerous and there were a couple of injuries amongst the police officers.”

The Liverpool Echo newspaper said a police riot van was set alight.

The Home Office has been using the hotel to temporarily house asylum seekers since last year, according to local media.

The Liverpool Echo published images of police in riot gear facing off black-clad protesters as smoke rose from a burning vehicle.

It said footage sent to the newspaper also showed protesters apparently attacking a police vehicle with sledgehammers.

Protesters outside the hotel shouted slogans such as “Get them out,” one pro-refugee group, the Merseyside Pensioners Association, said.

Its activists were holding a counter-protest at the same time, standing outside the hotel with placards saying “Refugees welcome”.

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