A Leicestershire LGBT support group is seeking advice from police after receiving an abusive email from a BNP candidate
A Leicestershire LGBT support group is seeking advice from police after receiving an abusive email from a BNP candidate. Candidate Reverend West, who hoped to win the Lincoln City seat for the British National Party, responded to a questionnaire which was sent to a number of candidates by the Leicester Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Centre by stating that gays are “dirty and disgusting”.
The questionnaire asked about views and party policies on issues such as civil partnerships, sex education in schools and “fair and compassionate assessment” of those seeking asylum on the grounds of their sexual orientation. West’s response stated that minority sexual groups were “perverse” and “wicked”. He also labelled the questioner a “complete and utter pervert”, telling him to “get a life and get it cleaned up”.
The LGBT Centre Support Officer, Dennis Bradley, commented on the fact that the BNP candidate had received the questionnaire in the first place, saying: “Unfortunately, as the candidate is neither in Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland. [He] had had our questions forwarded to him from another candidate, most likely in the same political party”
Bradley said that ultimately he was appalled at the response from West, saying: “I laughed and worried at the same time. If he were to win a seat in the General Election or his party were to win nationally and his views were taken up then we could see discrimination against about 25% of the population.
He added: “And if we were to take out the words gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender from the questions and replace them with ‘black’ there would be far worse recriminations.”
West said that when he received the email questionnaire he: “was deeply shocked and offended by its perversity.”
West, who founded the Christian Council of Britain, replied to the survey with a sermon entitled “In condemnation of sodomy”. He wrote: “It is well-known that homosexuals prey on the young, dependent, and impressionable; and that there is a significant overlap between homosexuality and paedophilia.”
Bradley believes the replies go way beyond acceptability and could constitute a hate campaign which, if substantiated, he has vowed to take “to the full extent of the law”. Bradley commented: “I do know he holds these views personally, but when he says them as a political party’s candidate that’s quite a different matter to a belief you are quite entitled to have in your own home.”
Bradley said a satisfactory and speedy outcome to the exchange would be for Rev West to immediately retract his comments. But West told the Spalding Guardian this week there was no chance of that. He said: “If they didn’t want my answers they shouldn’t send me the questions. I’m outraged – how dare they send them out.”
And in a thinly-veiled reference to the popularity of the BNP, he added: “Let’s see how much we have the right to oppose what they stand for.”