A BNP candidate pulled out of a public meeting in Fleetwood last night after threats of a demonstration by anti-fascists.
Election runner Debra Kent should have taken part in an election forum with other candidates at the Marine Hall in a debate organised by Fleetwood Churches Together but said she feared violence. The decision was welcomed by Unite Against Fascism (UAF) but regret was
expressed by the event organisers.
Miss Kent's partner, James Clayton, said: "This is the same group (UAF) that last year attacked one of our members with a claw hammer in Leigh and also attacked a BNP campaign launch in Croydon last week.
"Given that Debra is a lady and also my girlfriend I am not prepared to risk her being assaulted. As our security team are also busy during this period and cannot provide cover for her at short notice, I have decided to pull her out of this debate for her own safety."
Paul Jenkins, north-west organiser for UAF, denied they had carried out violent acts. He said: "This is good news. We are saying there should not be a platform for fascists. These people should not be allowed to come in and destroy democracy."
Fr Paul Benfield of Churches Together said: "Whatever one's views about any of the parties, it's our job to give an open platform. I don't approve of the BNP's policies but I think it's better people are allowed to express what they are standing for rather than being censored by their not being invited or threats from another group."