Racism is not a problem in Heywood following the sentencing of a child sex gang, according to the Labour MP Jim Dobbin.
The MP for Heywood and Middleton believes the scenes witnessed on the evening of February 23 this year, when around 200 youths took to the town's Bridge Street and targeted Asian businesses, were more out of excitement and curiosity than racism.
Mr Dobbin made the comments on the day of the local election, a week before the conviction of nine men at Liverpool Crown Court for raping and sexually assaulting girls in a child sex ring across Heywood, Rochdale and Oldham.
"I think that once this is all over that we really need to start a-fresh and build good community relations once more," said Mr Dobbin.
"Some of the young people probably turned up for the excitement. Y'know, you've got 200 kids on the streets in the town and that was the situation.
However, the violence was followed a week later by a smaller National Front (NF) and English Defence League (EDL) protest on Saturday March 3 in the town's memorial gardens.
"It was a pure racist demonstration and that's the way the NF and the EDL work and do things. That’s why they're there," said Mr Dobbin.
He added that many of the children's parents needed to be vigilant in the coming weeks as the fallout from the trial continues.