Socialist Worker

Fury as BNP grabs council seat in London

by Weyman Bennett joint secretary Unite Against Fascism
Issue No. 1920

ANTI-FASCIST campaigners are calling for the campaign against the British National Party (BNP) to be stepped up after it won a seat last week at a council by-election in Barking and Dagenham, east London.

The Unite Against Fascism (UAF) campaign was taking the anti-BNP message to Basildon in Essex, where the fascists were standing in an election this week.

The BNP got 1,072 votes in Dagenham’s Goresbrook ward, 52 percent of the vote. Labour finished second with 602 votes, 29 percent. The turnout was 28 percent.

This is the first time the BNP has been elected in London since 1993.

A breakdown of the 10 June European election results by local authority shows that the BNP polled its third highest vote in Barking and Dagenham, with 15 percent of the vote.

The fascists are also standing in a by-election in the Dagenham Village ward in two weeks.

Last week’s shocking result is galvanising the campaign against the BNP.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber rightly says, “This terrible result must banish any complacent thoughts that the racists were down and out after their election failures this year.”

He called on all trade unionists to join the anti-BNP campaign in Dagenham Village ward.

London mayor Ken Livingstone, chair of UAF, says, “Every concession to racism or Islamophobia by the mainstream parties assists the BNP.

“Every progressive Londoner should wake up and join the movement to stop the BNP, because they threaten everything which makes London such a wonderful, diverse city.”

Local campaigners have organised mass leafleting and other events in Dagenham and in Chingford, where the BNP may also stand in four weeks time.

To take part phone the UAF office on 020 7833 4916 or 020 7837 4522

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Article information

Sat 25 Sep 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1920
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