The group which delivered anti-Muslim leaflets to homes in Preston may be prosecuted. But the man behind the literature, which attacked plans to expand the Masjid-e-Salaam mosque in Fulwood, hit back at his critics and said he was entitled to have his say.
The police have conceded British National Party member Tony Bamber may be protected under human rights legislation.
Officers say they have received "a significant number" of complaints after the leaflets peddling anti-Muslim views were delivered to homes in Fulwood, Ingol and Cottam. They are now investigating if the Preston Pals group, named after a battalion of First World War soldiers from the city, can be prosecuted under race-hate laws.
Sgt Mike Chadwick, of Preston Police diversity team, said they were investigating the leaflets, but had to ensure prosecution was not against the group's human rights. He said: "We have to balance the human rights of the leaflets' authors and recognise the importance of freedom of speech, but we are treating these complaints very seriously."
He also confirmed police had spoken to Mr Bamber, of Greenbank Street, Plungington, who stood as a candidate for the BNP in last year's council elections. However, Mr Bamber said he was "entitled to speak his mind" on an issue he insisted concerned a lot of people across Preston and said he had received many letters of support.
Lancashire Evening Post