January 29, 2007

Councillors react to BNP plans

Conservative and Liberal Democrat party leaders speak out against BNP plans to field candidates in West Berkshire

Leaders of West Berkshire's two main political parties fear the emergence of the British National Party (BNP) in Newbury will cause "racial tensions".

Last week the right-wing party announced it would be fielding two candidates in the area in May's local elections.

Leaders of West Berkshire's Conservative and Liberal Democrat groups have now issued a joint statement about the news.

Councillor Graham Jones (Con) and Councillor Jeff Brooks (Lib Dem) said: "West Berkshire is a peaceful community. The BNP seeks to introduce racial tensions which do not exist here.

"As members of the decent political establishment we do not wish to deal with such people who do not have the welfare of our district at heart. Elected representatives are in place to serve the community as a whole, not to pick and choose who they help on the basis of colour or religion."

The statement added: "Nevertheless, there is a political process in place, through which we have confidence that the voters of West Berkshire will show the BNP that there is no place for them here, and firmly reject these candidates at the polls.”

Newbury today

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