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Thursday, 25 November 2010

MEP's Simonstone home targeted by far-right extremists (UK)

An East Lancashire Euro MP has hired a private security firm to guard his home because of threats from far-right extremists.

Sajjad Karim has been bombarded with offence emails over his stance on halal and kosher meat.

Mr Karim’s Simonstone home has also had ‘BNP’ daubed on it in graffiti.

He said he was worried about the safety of his wife and two children, aged eight and 10, while he is away in Europe.

He said he had paid for a private security firm to watch over his house 24 hours a day.

A British National Party spokesman ‘utterly condemned’ any threats, saying the issue had also been raised in the mainstream media.

Police are investigating an allegation of racist abuse by email.

Mr Karim, who represents the North West in the European Parliament, blamed BNP supporters for the onslaught, claiming the threats had come shortly after the far-right party published an article criticising him on its website.

Mr Karim, who opposed an EU proposal that would require all ritually-slaughtered meat to be labelled, said there had been an ‘orchestrated’ campaign against him.

He said: “There are perfectly legitimate arguments on both sides of the debate. But it is being hijacked and they are trying to frighten me.

“We have lived here for 11 years and never had anything like this. This is their way of saying ‘we know you are here’.

“The police are providing the best level of protection they can, but when it comes to these people I am not going to take any chances.”

Lancashire Police said it was investigating the messages and would meet the MEP this week.

John Walker, a spokesman for the BNP, said the party was campaigning on the issue of ritually slaughtered meat, which he said was ‘barbaric’. But he distanced the party from any threats, saying the BNP was being ‘demonised’.

He added: “This is a common tactic of political opponents to claim they have been intimidated.”

Lancashire Telegraph