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Friday, 29 October 2010

Mixed reaction as BNP tries to hire hall for meetings (Isle of Wight, UK)

 ROW erupted among Sandown town councillors this week over the possibility of hiring out the Broadway Centre to the BNP.

Island members of the controversial political party — which has come under fire for its far right reputation — are looking for a new venue to host their monthly meetings and have e-mailed town and parish councils across the Island to ask about hire charges.

The request, discussed among Sandown councillors at Tuesday’s meeting, was hugely unpopular with some members.

"They are racists as far as I’m concerned. We shouldn’t touch them with a barge pole," said Cllr Bob Blezzard.

But Cllr Chris Dupre said it would be discriminatory to refuse the request.

"You can’t have one rule for the BNP and another for everyone else. Then you could start saying no Muslims or black people," he said.

"They are a legitimate political party and have as much right to hire the hall as anyone else."

Cllr Richard Beasley added: "We have to be seen to be tolerant, even if we don’t want to be. And it would bring us income."

Island BNP organiser Geof Clynch, who stood as the party's parliamentary candidate in the general election earlier this year, said several town and parish councils had responded with room hire details and charges.

"The feedback so far has not been negative at all," he said.

"The membership of the Island BNP is made up of intelligent, law abiding, taxpaying, patriotic people, who only want what is best for the Island and its indigenous population.

"We are not Nazis, we are a proper political party. People need to grow up and stop having such childish debates."

Sandown Town Council agreed to reply to Mr Clynch’s request asking for further details.

County Press Online