The Scottish leader of the country's most notorious political party will target Barrhead voters in this year's General Election in a bid to claim a top political scalp.
The British National Party's (BNP), Gary Raikes [left], will wage a campaign on the town's streets in an attempt to woo Barrhead voters and oust MP Jim Murphy from his seat in Westminster.
The party, led by outspoken MEP Nick Griffin has been slammed for its 'fascist' views, and says that although it does not expect to win the seat, the BNP is determined to stop Murphy from being re-elected and hopes to take around 1,000 votes from the Barrhead politician. This, the party says, would split the vote and allow the Tory candidate to take the seat.
Mr Raikes, who has led the BNP in Scotland since 2007, is keen to kick-off the publicity campaign, which he says will help his party take root in Barrhead. And he is optimistic about his party's chances in the upcoming election.
He said: "I have decided to stand in East Renfrewshire seat as this is held by Jim Murphy MP - the self appointed anti-BNP spokesman in Scotland. It is time voters got to see the true face of the BNP instead of the stereotype nonsense peddled by Murphy. I am pleased to be standing against the Labour Scottish secretary. I very much look forward to sharing a platform with Mr Murphy during the campaign and enlightening him to the truth about today's BNP."
Responding to Mr Raikes announcement, Mr Murphy said: "Its a shame that the leader of the BNP in Scotland is coming here to peddle his poison and in his own words try to help the Tories win this seat. The people of Barrhead won't be fooled by the BNP. The BNP is a fascist party. Their hatred is the kinds that lead to six million being killed in the holocaust. It is trying to look moderate by swapping skinheads for sharp suits, but they are still the same trade union hating and foreigner hating extremists."
The Conservative candidate for East Renfrewshire, Richard Cook, is determined to keep the fight about politics - and not about the publicity surrounding the BNP's decision to field an election candidate. He said: "The BNP is not welcome in East Renfrewshire, [this] is the great place it is because of its diversity. We proudly boast the largest Jewish population in Scotland and one of the fastest growing Muslim populations too. It is not by accident that we live together in peace and harmony - it is because we are a tolerant area with mutual respect for one another and a loathing for the type of politics pedalled by the BNP.
"As the only East Renfrewshire candidate standing at the British General Election to have been at the forefront of the Scotland United Against Racism and Fascism march last November that ran the Scottish and English Defence League's out of Glasgow, I intend to run a campaign that does the same to the BNP in East Renfrewshire."