Sunday Mirror by Nick Owens and David Paul | Sunday, 26 December 2010 | Click here for original article
Seventy-eight English Defence League supporters are trying to claim for whiplash injuries in a coach crash ... when only 25 of them were on board.
The claims were lodged after the coach carrying party members from Gateshead to a rally in Preston, Lancs, was involved in a minor collision.
Days later dozens of EDL supporters submitted a bid for compensation for whiplash injuries which they said were caused by the crash.
But the coach firm says only 25 people were on the bus – and the vehicle has just 57 seats. Maria Caris, spokesman for Caris Coaches in Gateshead, said she is now considering legal action amid fears her firm is being scammed by members of the extremist party, which opposes the spread of militant Islam.
She said: "They must think we're idiots.
There are 78 claims in so far and the phone is still going with people asking for our insurance details. They are all saying they were on the coach."
Recalling the rally - which ended in violent clashes with police - she added: "These 'whiplash injuries' could have been caused when they were fighting with the police in Preston."
Driver Christopher Cartwright said he'd be amazed if any of the 25 on board were hurt in the crash last month. He said: "There was not much more than a scratch on the back corner of the coach."
Yesterday even their own supporters were protesting. EDL's Alan Spence wrote on the party's Facebook site: "Are you taking the p*** or what? There were only 20 people on the f*****g coach."