THE far-right Scottish Defence League is set to be banned from marching against immigration in Edinburgh because elephants, rhinos and lions have beaten them to it. The "father of Scottish Democracy", Thomas Muir of Huntershill, has also played a part in the likely ban, even though he died in 1799.

Later today, the City of Edinburgh Council is set to take the very rare step of banning the SDL march planned for Saturday, October 3 because two other marches through the city centre are also planned on much the same route.

They are being organised by Scotland for Elephants in protest against the hunting of elephants, rhinos and lions, and by the Friends of Thomas Muir to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Scotland’s most famous political martyr.

In common with most councils, Edinburgh follows the Scottish Government guidance that marches should be allowed in almost all circumstances, but where a clash of events occurs, those who applied for permission first are given priority.

Both the march for elephants and the Thomas Muir walk are at different times on slightly different routes, and the SDL march would follow both, but the organisers of the first two marches applied first.

The licensing sub-committee will also be told of a strong police warning that the SDL march might also be a source of trouble and that an expected counter-demonstration by left-wing groups would stretch police resources – The National has already been told of a planned counter-demonstration by left-wing groups.

The Scottish Defence League announced its march on its Facebook page, stating: “Angry about the current immigrant/refugee/stealth jihad invasion of Europe and the UK? Want to do more than shout at your TV and type on Facebook? Come and join us and make a stand to show our opposition to this invasion which is being forced upon us by our traitor government. The SDL say put our own people first, we don’t want to provide free housing, benefits and NHS healthcare to these invaders. Enough is enough, make a stand with us on October 3, all patriot groups welcome Please share this post with like-minded people.”

The report to the committee recommends the SDL march be refused a licence, or that strong conditions be attached to the licence which would curtail the SDL activity.

“Roads Services state that they have discussed this proposed march with Lothian Buses and the chair of the Citywide Traffic Management Group, all of which are of the same opinion," said a report to the committee.

“Whilst individually none of the proposed marches cause undue concern, if they all take place one after another affecting the same traffic corridors there is a potential for significant traffic delays as the road network is not being given the opportunity to recover properly.”

The route of the SDL march ends at the City Chambers, and the report adds: “There is a wedding organised at the City Chambers on the same day and at the same time. The march culminates at City Chambers where it is intended to hold a demonstration. This will clash with the time of the wedding ceremony.”

The SDL could not be contacted last night.

A senior city council source told The National that the police objection would “strongly influence” the councillors who will have to make the decision.

“If any other objections are received, even late ones, these will have to be considered, too,” said the source.