January 31, 2007

Call for boycott of BNP hotel

Trade union bosses are calling for the boycott of a Blackpool seafront hotel which opened its doors to the BNP. The New Kimberley Hotel on New South Promenade hosted the BNP conference in November following a veil of secrecy.

Today, the Lancashire Association of Trades Union Councils (LATUC) urged visitors to refuse to stay at the hotel in protest. Peter Billington, secretary of the Lancashire TUC, said: "We are supporting Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre TUCs' call for trade union members and all decent people not to use this hotel. There are 2.7 million workers in the North West and 34 per cent of them are trade union members. We have written to the national TUC and asked it to circulate the hotel's details to all UK unions so that members can avoid this place."

Mr Billington said the hotel had knowingly supported for "a group of violent, racist, criminal thugs". He added: "It shouldn't be forgotten that two Lancashire BNP members, one of them a BNP local council candidate in last May's elections, are currently in custody awaiting trial on bomb-making charges."

The BNP has vowed to return to Blackpool for its annual conference this year after hailing November's conference a huge success. Members of the far-right group staged the two-day conference at the New Kimberley Hotel on South Promenade in secret.

The Gazette quizzed Kimberley Hotel boss Peter Metcalf in the days before the conference but he denied the event would be held at the hotel. Anti-fascist demonstrators staged a protest outside the hotel but the conference passed off peacefully.

BNP bosses today promised this year's conference would be "even larger" despite being issued with "stay away" messages from council chiefs.

Roy Goodwin, from Blackpool's BNP, said: "The TUC is interfering with the democratic rights of a perfectly legal political party to hold its conference where it wishes. The amazing thing about what they are doing is that they are doing it under the banner of the UAF (United Against Fascism). I feel that a great deal of the British public may come to the conclusion there is a distinct odour of hypocrisy surrounding them."

The Gazette contacted the Kimberley Hotel but no-one was available for comment.

Blackpool Gazette

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