A serving soldier who helps to take struggling ex-servicemen off the streets was questioned by police after concerns were raised about his work.
Chris Mounteney, an outreach worker for the Soldiers Off The Street charity in Northampton, said he was quizzed last Thursday before he went out to help the homeless on his night shift. The 44-year-old said: “I was told to stop my work because they believed the charity was set up by the BNP. It was ludicrous. Soldiers Off The Streets was set up by Bill Murray, who used to be in the BNP, but he has relinquished his support of them. The charity doesn’t have political links.”
The serviceman did however admit the group’s headquarters were rented off a current member of the BNP.
Mr Mounteney, who works as a welfare officer in the TA centre in Clare Street, Northampton, added: “We are a charity and people need our help. If somebody serves their country they should have proper care and, as a charity, we provide that.”
The row was played out through social networking website Facebook over the weekend with Northamptonshire Police issuing the following statement: “We can confirm that a number of concerns were raised to us by partner agencies. To clarify this, a meeting was held with a representative from Soldiers Off The Street. We support people’s right to engage with legitimate charities and undertake lawful work on their behalf. We have not instructed anyone to stop working with a charity of their choice and would not seek to prevent them from doing so. We are currently investigating this matter.”
Mr Mounteney said he was later told he could continue his charity work and had the full support of the police. He added: “There was a sudden change. I’m hoping that now we can all work in partnership to help the homeless.”