US President Donald Trump makes a statement at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 28, 2017.
Outrage after Trump retweets anti-Muslim videos
02:39 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

The leader of the far-right UK political group Britain First was arrested Thursday in Northern Ireland as he accompanied the group’s deputy leader to a court appearance on hate charges, the group said.

Britain First was at the center of international controversy last month when US President Donald Trump retweeted anti-Muslim content posted by deputy leader Jayda Fransen.

In a video posted to social media on Thursday, Fransen said Britain First leader Paul Golding had been arrested as he supported her at the Belfast court, where she faces charges of behavior intended or likely to stir up hatred in connection with a speech she gave in Belfast on August 6.

Britain First deputy leader Jayda Fransen and leader Paul Golding, pictured in October, are being investigated by police.

Fransen said she faced “some nonsense charge” and that she believed Golding had been arrested over the “same trumped-up” claims. “Basically, I criticized Islam and now they want to send me to prison for two years,” she said.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said detectives investigating speeches made at the Northern Ireland Against Terrorism Rally on August 6 had arrested a 35-year-old man in the Belfast area.

After her court appearance, Fransen herself was then rearrested in connection with a video she filmed in Belfast a day earlier by a peace wall – a barrier separating predominantly Protestant and Catholic communities in certain areas where sectarian tensions can run high.

The PSNI confirmed that detectives “investigating an incident at a peace wall in Belfast” on Wednesday had arrested a 31-year-old woman in the Belfast area on Thursday and had taken her to a police station for interview.

Trump’s decision to retweet three anti-Muslim messages by Fransen sparked criticism from Britain’s highest officials, including Prime Minister Theresa May.

The White House defended Trump’s actions, saying they were an attempt by the President to get a conversation started on security and immigration.

Journalist Peter Taggart contributed to this report.