Police in London says they have arrested more than 100 people on Saturday after far-right protesters, who said they were holding a demonstration to counter anti-racism protests, clashed with officers.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “racist thuggery has no place on our streets” and that “anybody attacking the police would be met with full force of the law”.
“Racism has no part in the UK and we must work together to make that a reality.”
Earlier, a march by several hundred Black Lives Matter activists through the capital went ahead, ending in Trafalgar Square near where the counter-protesters gathered and amid a heavy police presence.
Anti-racism group HOPE not hate had warned before Saturday that hooligan gangs attached to some English football clubs also planning to attend Saturday’s counter-protest.
London’s mayor Sadiq Khan praised the force for doing a “fantastic job to control the situation.
“Millions of Londoners will have been disgusted by the shameful scenes of violence, desecration and racism displayed by the right-wing extremists who gathered in our city today,” he added.
Britain has seen a wave of protests prompted by last month’s police killing in the US of George Floyd, an unarmed Black American, which triggered outrage around the world.
Most of them have been peaceful, but demonstrations in London last week turned violent, while crowds in Bristol, southwest England, toppled the statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston and threw it into the harbour.
Several central London monuments were boarded up as a precaution ahead of Saturday’s demonstrations. They included one of World War II leader Winston Churchill – which last weekend was defaced with the word “racist” – and the Cenotaph war shrine.