Britain first
Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First Youtube/Britain First

The deputy leader of controversial far-right political party Britain First has been charged with religiously aggravated harassment after helping lead a so-called "Christian patrol" through the streets of Luton.

Jayda Fransen, 30, was accompanied by around a dozen of her party's activists as she marched through Bury Park, home to a sizeable Muslim community, while carrying Christian crosses and handing out anti-Islam literature.

The self-styled "patrol" in January saw the group involved in a stand-off with angry residents and business owners.

Bedfordshire Police did not say what particular incident had led to Fransen being charged.

She faces two further charges of failing to surrender as part of her bail conditions last month, and of wearing a political uniform – an obscure offence under the Public Order Act 1936, originally passed to curb the activities of Sir Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists, or 'Blackshirts'.

If convicted, she could be handed a fine or up to six months in prison.

In an online video addressed to her party's supporters on Monday (1 August), Fransen denied the harassment charge and said police had made a mistake over her bail conditions.

She is due to appear at Luton Magistrates' Court on Friday (5 August) to officially enter a plea.

It comes just days after a separate case saw Britain First's leader, Paul Golding, fined £450 in the same court after pleading guilty to wearing a political uniform.

The conviction related to the same "Christian patrol" through Bury Park, during which prosecutors said Golding had worn a Britain First-branded fleece that had been perceived by bystanders as "intimidating".