Legoland Closes Hotel Over Far-Right Threats
Legoland has closed its Windsor hotel for the weekend after threats were made to staff and visitors over a Muslim family fun day that had been due to be held at the theme park.
More than 4,000 people were expected to attend the private event organised by the Muslim Research and Development Foundation (MRDF).
But following threats from far-right groups the fun day was cancelled on February 24 and now Legoland has gone a step further and closed its hotel for the weekend.
The Berkshire theme park itself is due to reopen to the public for the 2014 season on March 14.
A Legoland spokeswoman said the park had been contacted by a number of right wing groups "relentlessly and aggressively online and via the telephone".
"The safety and security of our guests and our members of staff has to be our number one priority, which is why we've made the difficult decision to close the hotel," she said.
Before the fun day was cancelled, a BNP blogger said Legoland should be "ashamed of themselves for bowing to these Muslims".
The blogger added: "This is disgusting and should NOT be allowed to go ahead.
"If someone would organise a white Christian-only day, people would be up in arms, calling them racist and God knows what, but no one says a thing when it's Muslims."
A picture of a Muslim Legoland worker was also posted on Facebook with an offensive comment, a Legoland spokeswoman said.
Legoland said it had told callers it would also hire the park to them: "We certainly do not discriminate in any way.
"The company who have hired the park also welcome friends and family of all faiths."
The MRDF also said the fun day was "open to people of all faiths and backgrounds", as were many of the events its holds designed to bring communities closer together.
A statement said: "Although we worked hard with Legoland to find a solution to the threats and negative press, Legoland made the decision to cancel the event as they could not guarantee the safety of the attendees and their staff."
Legoland said people booked to stay in the hotel would get a full refund. "We are extremely sorry that we've had to cancel guest bookings and whole heartedly understand the disappointment of those families that will be unable to attend," said the spokeswoman.
Thames Valley Police said abusive and threatening messages would not be tolerated and an investigation was under way to determine whether any offence has been committed under the Malicious Communications Act (1988) in connection with offensive messages posted on social media.
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