Protesters from around the country are again preparing to descend on Sussex as cash-strapped police beg the Government to pay for their last major demonstration.

Campaign group Smash EDO is staging a “mass demo” next month and has so far snubbed police requests for organisers to co-operate over their plans.

The event in Brighton is taking place as Sussex Police grapple with a massive budget shortfall and waits to learn if the Home Office will pay the costs of policing the last protest in May.

The planned demonstration, on Monday, January 18, is being held to commemorate Palestinians who died in Israeli military action in Gaza last winter.

Smash EDO claims the EDO weapons components factory in Moulsecoomb, Brighton, supplies parts for bombers used by the Israeli air force.

Activists are organising trips to Brighton for the demonstration from Bristol, Cornwall, Manchester, Bath, Swansea, Cambridge, Oxford and London. Demonstrators are being asked to wear black.

The campaign’s last protest in May brought Brighton to a standstill as 1,000 people marched through the city centre.

The total bill to Sussex Police for the last demo is now estimated at £560,000, with £200,000 of that going on overtime and paying officers from other forces who were called in to help.

Chief Superintendent Graham Bartlett, Sussex Police’s commander for Brighton and Hove, said policing would come before cost concerns in operational work.

The Home Office has not yet indicated if it will pay any of the costs of May’s protest.