A far right group cancelled a planned march in Chelmsford, Essex, after only a handful of people showed up at the event, according to reports. The English Defence League (EDL) scrapped its march, due to take place between 1 and 3pm, because between two and four people attended.

The group had organised the event to highlight "the rise in child grooming in our region, the rise of female genital mutilation and the arrests of terror suspects in the area," according to its official Facebook page.

At least 16 people said they were going to the event, according to the page, while a total of 43 had expressed interest. Dozens of people did attend an anti-EDL march organised in the area by groups including Essex Unite Against Fascism and Chelmsford Throws Out Fascism.

An activist from Stand Up To Racism, which campaigns against far right groups, said the EDL would not be tolerated in the city.

"Only two to four of them turned up," he told The Independent. "They scuttled of home, they wouldn't march because they were vastly outnumbered by the opposition. People from Chelmsford will not tolerate fascists in their midst trying to divide our communities."

"It shows that the EDL is pretty much a spent force," said an anti-fascist, who spoke to the Metro on the condition of anonymity. "Not that we should rest on our laurels because there is a rise of the far right and white supremacy across the world. We can be happy that the EDL failed but we must stay on our guard."

In June, at least 14 people were arrested as EDL supporters and anti-fascists clashed during a march in London. Before the march, London's Metropolitan Police had issued a warning to both sets of protesters to demonstrate peacefully or face arrest.

EDL
A tattoed member of the English Defence League attends a rallyGetty Images