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Sunday, 18 April 2010

BNP excluded from debate

THE British National Party have been banned from a public debate hosted by the church.

And Mike Ashburner, the BNP’s parliamentary candidate, has slammed the snub as being made by “typical limp-wristed charlatans.”
All the other general election candidates set to contest the Barrow and Furness seat are invited to the “Question Time” on Sunday, April 25.

So while Mr Ashburner has been left out in the cold, there will be appearances by John Woodcock (Labour), John Gough (Conservative), Barry Rabone (Liberal Democrats), Chris Loynes (Green Party), John Smith (UKIP) and Brian Greaves (Independent).
The event has been organised – as at previous general elections – by Churches Together in Barrow and will this time be staged in The Abbey Road Baptist Church.

The organisation’s secretary Margaret Evason, of St James’ Anglican Church in Barrow, said the hard-line stance on the BNP was their decision to make but followed national guidelines.
Churches Together in England recently stated that, while most churches stayed away from instructing people on how to vote, the racist policies and philosophy of the British National Party were incompatible with Christian faith.
Mrs Evason said: “We felt that if the BNP candidate was invited then some people would not turn up at the debate who might otherwise have come.”

She added that questions should be sent in advance in writing to Reverend John Goddard, of 27 Carlton Avenue, Barrow or by emailing: jmgoddard@tinyworld.co.uk. The debate, which starts at 3pm, will be chaired by former Barrow Town Clerk Derek Lyon with further information available from Mrs Evason – wife of the Reverend Stuart Evason – on 821475.

Mr Ashburner last night told the Evening Mail the decision was disappointing but predictable.
He added: “It is what you expect from the typical limp-wristed charlatans that masquerade as Christians these days.
“They are only too willing to bend over backwards to our Muslim colonisers and convert their churches to mosques at the earliest convenience.

“It will be a peculiar event indeed, without the only party that stands up for our Christian heritage.

“Clearly, Margaret Evason doesn’t believe in democracy and hates free speech.”

David Edmonson, Minister for Vickerstown and Millom Methodist Churches, has also entered the debate.
Writing his Christian Comment in tonight’s Evening Mail, he says the Barrow churches feel that showing an interest in political matters is a natural part of following Jesus.
But Reverend Edmonson points out that the Millom churches decided not to hold a similar meeting because they did not want to run the risk of being associated with any particular party.

He adds: “On the whole I think I side with the Barrow decision: I don’t think Christians can avoid election politics – even if we’d sometimes like to.”