A cross-party delegation will today meet a top Home Office official as part of a bid to get Saturday’s planned English Defence League rally banned.

Bolton Council deputy leader Cllr Linda Thomas, Conservative group leader Cllr John Walsh and Lib Dem leader Cllr Roger Hayes have travelled to London to meet with Police Minister Alan Campbell.

They will put the borough’s case to him and he will report to Home Secretary Alan Johnson, who is the only person with the power to ban the rally.

Mr Johnson met with council leader Cllr Cliff Morris and chief executive Sean Harriss last Thursday in Salford and has promised to respond to their request after today’s meeting.

Mr Harriss said: “We are expecting a decision later this week, but we are continuing to plan for the rally taking place.”

Bolton Council and Greater Manchester Police have made it clear they want the event banned because of the threat of disorder, not because they want to prevent free speech.