Tonight's by-election hustings cancelled
A debate between the candidates in the upcoming Wanstead by-election has been cancelled. The news comes in the wake of the police arresting a British National Party (BNP) canvasser last night for allegedly launching a racist tirade against a black woman.
However the hustings was called off before the news of the attack became public, due to fears that there "might be trouble" if it went ahead.
According to a list of BNP members that was leaked last year, only two people are registered supporters of the party in Wanstead out of a population of over 20,000. But organisers and speakers at the planned debate feared other BNP members from across the country may have turned up at the meeting to "hijack" it.
Tory nominee Alex Wilson said: "It's a great shame it has been cancelled, I was really looking forward to it. But the event has appeared on a number of unsavoury websites and many are worried the meeting could have turned nasty."
Labour candidate Ross Hatfull said: "The party line of the Labour group is not to share a platform with the BNP, but also there are a lot of people concerned there could be trouble if it went ahead."
Liberal Democrat nominee Kate Garrett said: "I think it's quite unfortunate it was cancelled. But if it had gone ahead there was a risk it might go the wrong way and end up being counter-productive."
Hope not hate
BNP meeting cancelled
A meeting of the BNP in Winsford has been cancelled. The controversial political party was due to meet at Winsford United FC tonight, Wednesday, but police confirmed this has now been cancelled.
Club secretary Bob Astles said: "One of our members asked if he could bring a few friends in for a meeting but we didn't know what it was. We are not a political club, we never have been. It's certainly not going ahead."
It is likely the meeting will now be moved to another location.