A taxi boss has torn down British National Party posters after a member of [the] public put them up in his office's window.
Express Taxis in Jarrow had the right-wing party's posters put on display at its town centre headquarters last week. The posters were in the style of newsletters and contained controversial views, typical of the party.
A member of the South Tyneside Coalition Against Racism spotted the posters, and wrote to South Tyneside councillors expressing his concern. He asked members of the coalition to boycott the firm for as long as the notices were left on display.
They were later taken down, and the boss of the company, which has branches throughout the borough, has now said the fact they were put up in the first place was down to a misunderstanding.
The manager, a Mr Ashton, who declined to give his first name, said: "It turns out that a member of the public came into the office with these posters and asked the desk clerk whether they could put a couple of them up. Wrongly, they were given permission to do so. I later had a phone call from someone at the council who alerted me to it, and I went round straight away to take them down."
South Tyneside Coalition Against Racism later wrote to councillors saying: "Thank you for your support against the BNP. Express Taxis has now taken down its BNP posters. We must keep its literature off our streets."
Coun David Potts said: "In my opinion, it was grossly irresponsible for the company to have allowed such posters to have been displayed in the first place. However, it's clear that senior management within the company have recognised this fully, and have acted accordingly. South Tynesiders need to be vigilant against the misinformation being spread by this far-right party.
"It's incumbent upon all mainstream political parties to work together to prevent the extreme right becoming any significant force within our tolerant and wonderfully diverse borough."
Martin Vaughan, of the BNP, said: "It's not party policy to display posters unless it's in the run-up to an election period as we know some people have strong views about our literature. However, it isn't illegal to display them, and this firm wasn't breaking the law by having our posters in its window."
A spokesman for South Tyneside Council confirmed the posters were not illegal and that the firm hadn't broken the law by displaying them.
The Shields Gazette