TUC calls for urgent talks with the government about extending the current ban on BNP members working in the police and prison services
Unions today called for a ban on members of far right parties such as the BNP working in the public sector. The call to bar British National party members from working in public services came as unions vowed to mobilise against the threat of fascism.
Delegates at the TUC conference in Liverpool unanimously backed the call for urgent talks with the government about extending the current ban on BNP members working in the police and prison services.
Janice Godrich, deputy general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said the "BNP's message of hate and fear" stood in stark contrast to the values of equality and access for all on which public services were based.
"It is not acceptable that you can be a fascist at weekends, yet work between Monday and Friday accessing confidential information of members of the public," she said.
Tim Wilson, of the National Association of Probation Officers, said it was "wrong" that BNP members could work in the profession.
Colin Moses, president of the Prison Officers Association, rounded on the BBC for considering inviting the BNP leader, Nick Griffin, on to its Question Time programme, a view echoed by the National Union of Journalists.
NUJ delegate Tim Lezard challenged the claim that the broadcaster was duty bound to include the BNP in political programmes. "The BBC says they have to invite the BNP onto Question Time. No they don't," he said.
Godrich blamed mainstream parties for letting down voters and allowing the BNP to prosper at the European parliament, where they won two seats for the first time.
"Mainstream parties need to urgently address the serious gaps in the policies that allow the BNP and far right to exploit division to suit their own ends," she said.