November 11, 2010

North West Leicestershire BNP parish councillor in racism probe

Police have advised a BNP councillor to apologise over a posting on his website which has been condemned as racist.

Wayne McDermott, a parish councillor in North West Leicestershire, posted a comment supposedly said by a Scottish councillor on a radio talk show. The comment, which has now been removed from Councillor McDermott's website, used insulting racist terms and suggested it was okay to torture terrorists.

A Leicestershire police spokeswoman said: "Police were contacted at around 9.30am on Monday by a member of the public expressing concerns about comments posted on a website blog. Officers have investigated the incident and discussed the comments with the owner of the blog and advised him to remove the post and issue an apology."

On his website the councillor, who is a member of Ellistown and Battleflat, says he works as an engineer, is married with three young children, is a BNP member and the party's East Midlands election officer. The BNP was contacted yesterday but did not respond. The Mercury also attempted to contact Coun McDermott directly and left him messages but he did not respond.

The incident has caused outrage among Conservative and Labour politicians. The Conservative North West Leicestershire MP Andrew Bridgen said: "The British National Party has tried to project an image that they are a normal mainstream political party. However, as this incident shows, you don't have to scratch hard at the surface to find out that they are still the same old BNP. There is no place for such racism and intolerance within our national or local politics. We will continue to fight and oppose what Mr McDermott and his friends stand for."

Labour county councillor for Loughborough East, Jewel Miah, said: "These are very racist comments and they are not welcome in a civilised society. I'm angry that this man put this up on the internet, it's absolutely right that they should be taken down – this just shows the contempt that the BNP holds for civilised society."

Mr McDermott has been nominated to become a governor at Ellistown Primary School. Leicestershire County Council said it had been made aware of the website article. At the school, there were two vacant governor positions and two nominated candidates, including Mr McDermott. A county council spokesman said last night: "Wayne McDermott was nominated to the position of parent governor at Ellistown very recently. The governing body will be assessing what the situation is and how to proceed."

This is Leicestershire

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