DEPUTY Lord Mayor of Oxford Tony Brett has refused to resign after becoming embroiled in a row with an anti-fascist group.

Mr Brett criticised members of Oxford Unite Against Fascism (OUAF) after claiming he saw rowdy behaviour at Oxford’s war memorial during a demonstration on Saturday.

Far right group the English Defence League (EDL) was due to hold an event at the war memorial but failed to attend.

Mr Brett claims he saw OUAF members taking wreaths from the memorial.

He said: “The EDL was scheduled to attend but I didn’t see any members when I arrived.

“I actually saw those from Unite Against Fascism sitting on the memorial.

“I saw this group holding a rowdy protests and two of the members took wreaths.

“It seems to be me they were doing exactly the kind of thing they are supposed to be protesting against.”

OUAF has created an online petition calling for Mr Brett to stand down. Twitter users have also criticised Mr Brett for attending the event.

Green party councillor for University Parks Sam Coates called for an immediate apology.

Ian McKendrick, spokesman for OUAF, said Mr Brett’s remarks were “divisive and unhelpful”.

He said: “There was no chanting, no trouble, and it was a peaceful protest.”

The EDL did not respond when approached for comment.