The BNP's London campaign chief was today facing suspension as a councillor after launching a racist “tirade” against Nigerian church-goers
Bob Bailey, 44, took an “antagonistic and offensive” tone when a black pastor applied for planning permission to convert Barking offices into a church. A meeting in Barking town hall was in uproar when Mr Bailey said: “We don't want any more Nigerian churches in the borough.” The public gallery was packed with members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
He said he had visited the premises and told the planning committee meeting last July: “These people eat off the ground.” He added: “We don't want the amount of black children.” A rival councillor called him a “racist pig”.
Barking and Dagenham council's standards committee was meeting today to decide whether to suspend the leader of the 12-strong BNP opposition for up to six months. A preliminary report by the council's monitoring officer found that Mr Bailey, a former Royal Marine, had brought the authority into disrepute, failed to treat others with respect and may have breached equality laws. Mr Bailey, who was said by a doctor last year to have a “possible personality disorder” when he claimed that he was banned from driving because of “conspiracy against the indigenous people”, is responsible for the BNP's London campaign in the general election and borough elections.
Barking is the BNP's number one target seat as its national leader Nick Griffin is standing against the sitting Labour MP, Margaret Hodge.
The church, whose 400-strong congregation is predominantly Nigerian, was granted permission to convert offices into a place of worship, despite Mr Bailey voting against. He was said to have breached planning laws by “closing his mind” and being “biased” against the application. He claimed there were already more than 20 Nigerian churches in the borough — the most in London and more than any other denomination.
The council report said: “Mr Bailey made a series of comments expressed in a derogatory tone. The comments were intended to, and did in fact, cause offence on racial grounds.”
Pastor Thomas Aderounmu, 55, of the Redeemed Church, said today the remarks would encourage ethnic minorities to vote against the BNP in May. He said: “It was just derogatory statements. He was very specific on Nigeria. I don't know what Nigerians have done to him. It was very personal. Their actions will work against them.”
London Evening Standard