British politicians shun BNP’s London man

May 5th, 2008 - 3:50 pm ICT by admin  


London, May 5 (IANS) Candidates of mainstream parties walked off the stage when the man who will represent the British National Party (BNP) on the London Assembly stepped up to speak at the inauguration amid fears that his election could tarnish the metro’s image as a model of racial diversity. Richard Barnbrook, who was said to be unperturbed, told The Times he will press for the British flag to be flown permanently over City Hall, for burkhas to be banned from public buildings and oppose the planned construction of a large mosque in east London.

Barnbrook took the stage Saturday after the BNP won its first ever place on the London Assembly - a vote that was described by the campaigning group Hope not Hate as a victory for “hatred, violence and stupidity”.

“I haven’t been elected to simply sit back and be like the other parties, sticking with the status quo and the gravy train movement,” Barnbrook said.

The paper said Barnbrook’s success has appalled the BNP’s opponents, who fear that it will tarnish London’s image as a model of racial diversity and the world’s most cosmopolitan city.

A third of Londoners are foreign-born.

Dave Prentice, the general secretary of Unison, a large public sector union, said: “We are particularly worried about the effect that the election of a BNP assembly member will have on race relations and community harmony in the city.”

A spokesman for the Greater London Authority said: “However much [newly-elected London Mayor] Boris Johnson regrets the election of a BNP member and is appalled by both the policies and principles of the BNP, Richard Barnbrook was duly elected under our democratic system.

“As an elected representative, Richard Barnbrook must recognise his responsibility to represent all of his constituents,” he added.

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