Scots stars join campaign urging voters to steer clear of ‘extremists’
Scottish celebrities have teamed up to back a campaign against the BNP seizing seats at the European Elections today. Harry Potter star Robbie Coltrane, comedienne Rhona Cameron and actor Richard Wilson have joined the likes of Eddie Izzard, Jimmy Carr, Matt Lucas and Ross Kemp in supporting Hope Not Hate, a non-party campaign organised by anti-racism and anti-fascism group Searchlight.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Church of Scotland General Assembly moderator the Rev Bill Hewitt, Holocaust survivors, footballers, academics and trade unionists have also lent their support. They have signed a statement which warns that the BNP is working hard to conceal its extremism, and supporting the party is a vote against everything that makes the UK “great”.
A spokesman for the BNP dismissed the criticism, pointing out that Searchlight was supported by the Labour Party and funded by taxpayers’ money through lottery grants.
“What we have is a bunch of Z-list celebrities, has-beens and nobodies signing up,” he said. “And after what has been happening at Westminster, they do not have the moral authority to criticise us.”
Meanwhile, a major Tory donor has said he will “lend” his vote to another party. Lord Kalms, a former Conservative Party treasurer, said he would be backing one of the smaller parties – potentially Ukip. The Eurosceptic peer’s intervention risks disciplinary action, as the Tory leadership takes a dim view of members encouraging support for political rivals.
Businessman Stuart Wheeler was expelled from the party earlier this year after giving £100,000 to Ukip.
In a statement yesterday, Lord Kalms, former boss of retail chain Dixons, said: “European elections tomorrow are a unique opportunity for the British electorate to express their distaste for several current UK policies from all the leading parties. It is an opportunity to vote for personal priorities and, with the exception of the BNP, I would strongly recommend, as I will do, voting for smaller parties who represent my major concerns today. For myself, I am considering lending my vote to Ukip.”
The Press and Journal