March 18, 2009

Leaders' united fight against BNP

Faith, community and business leaders have gathered in Manchester to show a united front against the British National Party (BNP).

The Manchester Diocese of the Church of England held a signing of a pledge to fight the BNP at Manchester Cathedral. The faith leaders are urging people not to vote for the party at the Euro elections on 4 June. BNP leader Nick Griffin is standing in the North West.

The BNP described the pledge as "bullying, intimidation and blackmail".

The giant pledge read: "We oppose the racist and fascist BNP who stand to undermine 'our' Manchester."

Figures include the Bishop of Bolton, the Bishop of Middleton and the only black dean of a UK cathedral, Rodgers Govender, Dean of Manchester Cathedral. The faith leaders said: "As leaders of Greater Manchester Faith Communities, we want to express our support for the local religious leaders. Alongside them, we express our concern at the racist history and policies of the British National Party, which is fielding a candidate. We say 'no' to the BNP's view of the world."

Others signatures are from Greater Manchester's Jewish, Muslim and Sikh communities groups.

Simon Darby, deputy leader of the BNP said the action was "wholly disgusting and unnecessary." He added: "This is bullying, intimidation and blackmail. If people have made up their mind to vote for us, they will do. It is not for the church to tell people who they can and can't vote for. They are throwing themselves at at the altar of political correctness."


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