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Friday, 30 April 2010

BNP supporters threaten to gatecrash debate

POLICE are on standby in the run-up to an election debate in St Austell tonight after British National Party supporters threatened the organisers of the husting because their candidate was not invited to attend.

Five would-be MPs will be attending an election husting at the Keay Theatre in St Austell tonight – the BNP candidate for the St Austell and Newquay seat, James Fitton, was not invited as his party is considered “too far to the right” for the organisers.
Mr Fitton was also not asked to take part in the BBC Town Hall debate which was aired live this week, and is still available to watch on BBC Iplayer.

The debate has been organised by Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) along with the Cornwall Trade Union Alliance to cater for those who work in front line services it will start at 6.30pm tonight.

Jessica Pearce, the PCS regional secretary, phoned the Cornish Guardian to tell the paper they had received “threatening” phone calls from BNP supporters.

“They phoned and got through to our 22-year-old receptionist and were very aggressive.

“They said that even though we had not invited them they would be attending and there was nothing we could do about it.

“We have phoned the police and they did say they would be present.

“I don’t know why they are acting like this, a lot of our members are part of the civil service and the public sector are not interested in the BNPs far right views.

“It would slow down the debate.”
Inspector for St Austell Police, Stuart Gibbons, said they were aware of it and were on standby should any disruption occur.
James Fitton said: "The PCS are fools. They called me and said I was a facist which is why I wasn't allowed on tonight.

"I then said 'surely by denying me attending tonight you're a fascist' and they hung the phone up on me.

"I'm still going to go. I was told by the PCS that I'd be arrested if I attended, but I can't see how or why I would be and it's not going to stop me."

The candidates who have been invited to the debate include Labour’s Lee Jameson, Liberal Democrat’s Stephen Gilbert, the Conservative candidate Caroline Righton and Mebyon Kernow’s leader Dick Cole.

This is Cornwall