A sales rep who received a leaflet promoting the British National Party through his letterbox has taken it to the police claiming it was hate mail.
Reg Shaw, 47, is among hundreds of people in the Bristol area to have received the election material through the post in the past few days. He says he couldn't believe the leaflet had been delivered to his home in Thornbury by the Royal Mail. He said: "It's the sort of thing you would expect to be delivered by a BNP supporter or councillor, but not the Royal Mail. If you look on the Royal Mail website, it says the company supports diversity. But I believe this is an out- and-out racist leaflet. I took it to the police station and said it was hate mail and I wanted it treated as a racist incident.
"The leaflet said the European elections were the 'new Battle of Britain'. It had pictures of white families on it and had a list of all of the country's military battles on it in history. It's horrible and I find it offensive because I come from a military family. I also find it offensive because my wife is black and American."
Mr Shaw added: "When the postman handed the leaflet to me I said to him 'Are you happy distributing this stuff?' He said he had no choice and that if he refused he would be sacked."
The BNP leaflets have also been delivered in Whitchurch, where it is claimed that some people have associated local businesses with the BNP because their promotional material was delivered through their doors at the same time.
Spokesman for the BNP, John Walker, said leaflets promoting the BNP in the run up to the European Elections would be delivered by Royal Mail to every home in country. He said: "Every leaflet has been cleared by the Royal Mail legal department beforehand so it appears that Mr Shaw is just pushing his own political agenda rather than anything else. If he has an issue with legality, he should go to the Royal Mail."
Electoral Commission spokeswoman Sarah Garrett said parties were entitled to leaflet voters as long as they stuck to spending limits and adhered to rules "defamatory remarks and anything offensive".
Each party can spend up to £45,000 for every candidate they have standing in each region. In the South West, the BNP has six candidates so is entitled to spend £270,000 on promotional material in the region.
Bristol Evening Post