Two Havering BNP candidates have backed the forced ejection of a national newspaper's reporter from a meeting in Elm Park.
General Election candidate, Michael Barnbrook, who is standing for Dagenham and Rainham, and Robert Bailey, a Romford candidate in the local elections, have both condoned the treatment of The Times' reporter Dominic Kennedy at the hands of their security guards at a pub on February 14.
Mr Barnbrook said: "The whole thing was stage managed by the reporter because he was asked to leave the premises and refused. The law states that you can remove a trespasser from the premises using as much force as necessary."
Mr Kennedy was invited to the meeting, but was forced out when the party's London Assembly member, Richard Barnbrook, became angry over an article in The Times. Security guards shoved Mr Kennedy out of the pub, with one even grabbing his nose.
Michael Barnbrook, a retired police inspector, said: "He was struggling violently and that is why he had a number of security officers around him. He was not assaulted, he was legally removed from the premises. He had the option to walk out unaided but chose not to."
Mr Bailey said: "A lot of people that work for The Times are very ugly and nasty. They have a distinct agenda and he was told to leave and we should have the right to evict anyone if it is a private meeting."
The extraordinary general meeting was held following the BNP's vote to allow black and Asian people into the party. The party was forced to change its rules after it was threatened with an injunction by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
But Gooshays ward BNP Cllr Mark Logan, who was not allowed into the meeting because his membership had expired, condemned the violence. He said: "The reporter should not have been man handled but should have been ushered out in a dignified manner and I was upset about what had happened because I do not believe in violence."
Barking, Dagenham and Havering Together has been set up in the wake of the meeting to fight the BNP. It is concerned about the party's rise in Barking and Dagenham and its encroachment into Havering. For further information, call 07973 421463.
Romford and Havering Post