HARROW Council's reaction to Islamaphobic demonstrations outside a town centre mosque has won an award.

Stop the Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) held two protests in front of Harrow Central Mosque, in Station Road, on September 11 last year and again in December.

Councillor Bill Stephenson, leader of the council, praised staff after the award ceremony, on Thursday.

He said: "The mosque demonstration put our borough in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons but by winning the backing of community leaders, police and local media, we turned a potentially nasty situation into a total non-event.

"The award recognises the work of all those involved and again demonstrates that Harrow is a place where people from different backgrounds get on well together."

Councillor Paul Osborn, communication boss under the former Tory administration, said: “These awards fully vindicate the decision we took in 2006 to outsource the council's communications to Westminster City Council.

“We inherited one of the worst communications departments in London from Labour, and now it's winning awards for its work on important and sensitive stories.”

The award was for Crisis Communication and was presented at the LGcommunication Reputations Awards.