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We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Supremacist jailed for ricin weapon (UK)

A white supremacist who became the first person to be sentenced for producing a chemical weapon has been jailed for 10 years. Skip related content

Racist Ian Davison, 42, manufactured enough ricin to kill nine people and kept it in a jar in his kitchen for two years.

He was jailed at Newcastle Crown Court alongside his teenage son Nicky, who was a fellow member of a group known as the Aryan Strike Force and was sentenced to two years in a young offenders' institution.

Davison Snr, of Burnopfield, County Durham, previously admitted producing a chemical weapon, preparing acts of terrorism, three counts of possessing material useful to commit acts of terror and one count of possessing a prohibited weapon.
His 19-year-old son, of Annfield Plain, County Durham, was convicted of three counts of possessing material useful for acts of terror following a trial a fortnight ago. The charges related to downloading copies of the Anarchist's Cookbook and The Poor Man's James Bond on two computers.

Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting, said Davison Snr created ricin at his home in 2006 or early 2007, which was found when police raided the property in June last year and was now stored at the UK's Porton Down chemical weapons centre.
Mr Edis said: "The purpose of the violence was the creation of an international Aryan group who would establish white supremacy in white countries. They were followers of the ideology of Adolf Hitler, who they revered, and whose work Mein Kampf was among many available on their website."

Mr Edis said the ASF had around 350 members recruited via the internet, though not all were active. Other alleged members will face trial later this year.
Toby Hedworth QC, defending, said a psychological report showed Davison Snr was a "superwimp not a savage" who had a "fragile ego", he said: "A very small amount (of ricin) was eventually produced and nothing was done with it."

Passing sentence, Judge Milford told the father: "A particularly unpleasant aggravating feature of this case is that you corrupted your son. The fact he sits in the dock with you, about to go to prison with the hopes of joining the Armed Forces dashed, is the result of your appalling parenting."

Yahoo News

Stoke-on-Trent BNP councillor in Nazi salute row

A BNP councillor has appeared on an anti-BNP website holding a Union Jack flag – standing next to three  men doing a Nazi salute on a War Memorial in Stone.

Cllr Steve Batkin, who has served the Bentilee ward since 2003, has said he was attending a funeral and he has not had contact with the men since.
Maurice Cousins is the Deputy Editor of ‘Nothing British’, where the image is currently appearing:

“We thought this was disgraceful considering the British National Party dresses itself up in the flag and in the honour of those who have given their lives in this country.

“This man was elected in 2003, what is this man still doing there?”

Cllr Batkin defended his actions – saying it was down to the other men’s “drunken youth.”
“You’ve got a few seconds to think and when someone just puts their hands up in a few seconds and a fascist salute, basically you’re trapped.

“We’ve all said things in the past, including Nick Griffin himself, where we regret some of the things we’ve said and some of the situations we’ve been in.
“Nevertheless I do not condone right wing people doing right wing salutes and dressing in a cult. It’s counter-productive and it doesn’t help the BNP one bit.

“That’s how drunken youth react at times when they’re rebellious, they might do silly things.”

Stoke BNP leader Michael Coleman does not condone Batkin’s actions and doubts that the matter will be taken further within the party.
“I’d like to denounce it, it’s not part of the BNPs philosophy. I don’t want to represent those ideas, but it was 8 years ago and it was a different world back then.

Ex-BNP councillor Alby Walker, who left the BNP to stand as Independent, said that Cllr Batkin is not an exception and this is why he left the BNP:
“I shall make it my job now to expose to the public what the true face of the BNP is, what’s behind the scenes rather than the public persona they’re putting on at the moment.

“The true face of the BNP behind closed doors is quite different to what you will see publicly and that’s coming from the horses mouth.

“These are some of the reasons I had to move away from the BNP. I did try to change the image but obviously it’s still lurking in the background.”

Staffs live

General election 2010: the defeat of the BNP

The BNP had promised a 'political earthquake' in east London. Instead, unexpectedly, it was wiped out. Matthew Taylor and Hugh Muir report on the forces that came together to defeat it, and ask: is this the end for Nick Griffin's party?

At two minutes past six last Friday morning, Nick Griffin walked to the front of the makeshift stage at the Goresbrook leisure centre in Barking, east London, and tried to make his voice heard above a braying crowd. The BNP leader had just suffered a humiliating defeat, beaten into third place by Labour MP Margaret Hodge in the constituency where he had promised to create a "political earthquake".

But as he began a flustered and angry speech, Griffin already knew that worse was to come. Rumours had been circulating round the east London count for more than an hour that the party had not only failed to get its first MP, it was on the verge of an electoral disaster in the area Griffin had once described as the party's "jewel in the crown".
"Within the next five years, the indigenous people of London will be a minority," barked Griffin, as jubilant Labour supporters taunted him with shouts of "Out, out, out!" "It is going to be too late for Barking, but it is not too late for Britain." By then, though, no one was listening.

In the next 12 hours, Griffin's worst fears were realised – and even exceeded. The party was thrashed in its two key parliamentary constituencies of Barking and Stoke Central. Its record number of council and parliamentary candidates failed to make a single breakthrough; and of the 28 BNP councillors standing for re-election, all but two were beaten.
But the Barking and Dagenham council election result was the most dramatic. The BNP had plans to take control of the authority – instead, it lost every one of its councillors there. Twelve elected in 2006. Twelve thrown out in 2010. A ruthless purge, more shocking because they didn't see it coming. Neither, for that matter, did their opponents. It was the miracle of Barking.

"This really was a disastrous result for the BNP," said Nick Lowles, who led the anti-BNP campaign Hope Not Hate. "It will have long-term consequences – particularly for Nick Griffin."

This week, those predictions are beginning to be realised, as senior BNP figures break ranks to question Griffin's leadership and, again, raise concerns about the party's finances. Griffin has been all but untouchable since he took control of the party in 1999, but now he seems increasingly isolated: mocked on far-right internet forums, forced to defend himself from the criticism of one his chief lieutenants.

"The BNP looks set to implode," says Matthew Goodwin, a specialist in far-right politics at the University of Manchester. "Griffin may hang on but, if he does, it will only be because there is no easy way to oust him and no obvious successor. He had plans to expand his reach. Now he is fighting to survive."
Walking amid the shops and bustle of central Barking this week, Zain Achtar, a 19-year-old student, could hardly stop smiling as he basked in a borough free of the BNP. "It feels like something has been lifted from the place. We can get on and go forward again."

Karena Johnson, who works in Barking's Broadway Theatre, agreed: "Having them here was an embarrassment. What happened last week means the story of Barking has changed."
Or perhaps the story of the BNP has changed. Twelve months ago, the party was celebrating its big breakthrough after winning two seats in the Euro elections. So why did that momentum stall in Barking?

The answer is a tale of determined activism by Griffin's opponents, aided by the antics of his self-harming party. That activism began to develop a sharp focus two weeks after those Euro elections, when Lowles chaired a meeting of MPs, anti-BNP campaigners, church groups and trade unionists. He gave them a detailed breakdown of the BNP's support. The message was stark.
"A decision was made to draw a line in the sand," says one Labour party figure who was at the meeting. "The coming general election was going to be the defining moment. Everyone knew that if they won then, it would be almost impossible to remove them in the future."

There was never a single anti-BNP campaign in Barking. There were meetings, events, leafleting initiatives run by Hope Not Hate – which coordinated much of the activity – and also by Labour and Unite Against Fascism. Hope Not Hate set up a base in derelict premises, and volunteers travelled across the country to prepare it for the coming battle; putting up a new ceiling, plumbing in toilets and setting up a print room. Some slept on the floors.
"The response was truly overwhelming," says Lowles. "On one day of action, we had 541 people; on another, 385; and even on election day itself, 176 people came out to help get the vote out." Many of the volunteers had not been involved in political activity before. "We had teenagers travelling up from Kent, old ladies from the other side of London turning out. It felt like a liberating experience for people who felt like we were doing something politically important."
The Hope Not Hate campaign was supported by Joe Rospars, chief digital strategist for Barack Obama from 2007 until his inauguration, who said it was the "best example" of a British organisation applying the lessons of the US presidential elections. "We are seeing a genuine community-based organisation, with people coming together around a common purpose," he said.

Campaigners were able to identify the key groups least likely to vote for the BNP – women, pensioners and people from ethnic minorities. They built up an online volunteer force of 140,000 people, and Rospars advised on how to use them for maximum impact. In the month before election day, Lowles says more than 1,000 volunteers descended on Barking, delivering 350,000 specially tailored leaflets and newsletters.

At the same time, the Dagenham MP John Cruddas, and his neighbour who seemed most under threat, Barking MP Margaret Hodge, were fighting a parallel ground war against the BNP. Hodge escalated the effort she had begun some four years earlier to reconnect with voters Labour had lost to the BNP. Their rise in Barking had seen the then culture secretary heavily criticised by many inside her own party. For her, this election result represents a triumph for decency, and personal redemption.

"When Griffin announced in September that he would stand, that gave me a real scare," Hodge says. "My husband had not long died, and I was still in grief. It was a tough period. I was quietly confident that I would win, but I really wanted to smash him. And I was really concerned about the prospects for the council."

Hodge, with the help of volunteers from Unite Against Fascism, turned to the politics of shoe leather, knocking on doors and listening to people's concerns. "'What do you want to talk about?' I would ask. It was up to them."
Most talked about street cleaning, wheelie bins and antisocial behaviour, but inevitably many raised the BNP trump card of immigration. Even black residents raised the issue with Hodge. "I would say to them: 'I can't turn the clock back, but this is why the borough has changed, and we must make it work for all of us.' Some people hated that. Some would understand. But they came to feel I was listening."

The more so, perhaps, because the BNP was itself struggling to cope under a harsher spotlight. Griffin's Question Time appearance last October, with its gurning and yammering, shocked his supporters within the BNP and appeared to weaken his authority. The decision by the Equalities Commission to challenge the party's racist membership rules occupied too much of his attention, and drained the party's meagre resources. Indiscipline, heightened by personal rivalries, created a string of difficulties for the party and its leader.

At the beginning of the campaign, the BNP's publicity director Mark Collett – once a firm ally of Griffin – was arrested on suspicion of threatening to kill him. In Stoke, Alby Walker, a senior BNP councillor, said he would stand as an independent because of a "vein of Holocaust-denying" within the party. Then, a few days before the election, the party's website was closed. It was replaced with a posting from Simon Bennett, the website manager, who accused Griffin and James Dowson, the BNP election fundraiser, of being "pathetic, desperate and incompetent".
But the incident that might have had most impact on the voters of Barking concerned Bob Bailey, the BNP's London organiser and one of Griffin's closest confidants. On the eve of the election, Bailey was caught on camera throwing punches and kicks at a group of teenagers. Earlier this week, he was arrested and bailed on suspicion of assaulting two men (an 18-year-old man and a 19-year-old man have also been arrested and bailed, on suspicion of assault and affray).

"That caught the attention of voters," says Hodge. "One of the fears many people had was that a BNP win would result in violence on the street. That seemed to confirm it."

It is impossible to say how much of the Barking miracle can be explained by the efforts of the forces ranged against the BNP, and how much of the wound was self-inflicted, but after a shaky start at the Goresbrook leisure centre – before postal votes confirmed the landslide – the outcome was certainly decisive. Each confirmed result elicited whoops and backslapping, and by the end of the purge, only Richard Barnbrook, one of Griffin's senior lieutenants and himself a casualty of the wipeout, remained. He smiled a smile that at first seemed defiant, but eventually gave the impression that he was feeling queasy.

Around Barnbrook, officials – joyous at having the stain on the authority so ruthlessly removed – were quick to share the good news with friends and loved ones. One texted as each far-righter was shown the door. The last text read: "Bye bye, Nazis."
A widely shared thought is that the BNP was overwhelmed by the sort of grassroots activism that must now become a template if there is to be resurgence for the Labour party. In fact, Tony Travers, of the London School of Economics, says it was all about Labour.

"It would appear that the vote for the BNP in 2006 was some kind of political cry of anguish, based on the perception that the Labour party simply didn't understand the concerns of that part of the electorate. The fact that the BNP has been dropped in 2010 heavily suggests this section of the electorate now believes it has got the attention of the Labour party." Back in 2006, the morality of supporting an intrinsically racist party wasn't an issue, says Travers. "The voters simply used the most shocking mechanism they could to get Labour's attention."
But there is good and bad in that conclusion. Good because it suggests people in Barking voted BNP for reasons other than racism and antisemitism. Bad because if it was all a means to an end, did no one consider the impact on community relations of voting for the far right?

In any event, Dan Hodges, a strategist and spokesman for Hope Not Hate, says the safest conclusion to draw is that wider society should never again be so complacent. "We were lucky this time. People realised the threat just in time, we mobilised just in time. But we may not be so lucky next."

What is the future for the BNP now? Griffin doesn't know. He can point to the fact that the BNP won more than half a million votes, but his mood is changeable. Yesterday he sent another email, brimming with anger. "The old east London is dead," he wrote.

His party is at a crossroads. A Tory-led administration may worsen social divisions, providing the far right with new opportunities. But it might also clamp down on immigration, rendering the BNP irrelevant. Even if opportunities come his way, Griffin's party has so many problems that he may not be able to take advantage. The BNP is not dead, but it took a mortal blow in Barking. It will be hard-pushed to find its feet again.

The Guardian

White supremacist and son await sentence over ricin plot (UK)

A white supremacist who created deadly ricin will be sentenced along with his racist son today.
Police said former pub DJ Ian Davison, 41, was plotting to use the killer chemical which was found in a jam jar in his kitchen when officers raided.
He ran a group of internet extremists known as the Aryan Strike Force with his 19-year-old son Nicky, who was convicted last month of preparing for acts of terrorism by downloading the guidebooks the Anarchist's Cookbook and The Poor Man's James Bond.

The teenager, of Grampian Way, Annfield Plain, County Durham, claimed he became involved in white supremacy to please his racist father. A jury took 50 minutes to convict him at Newcastle Crown Court.

Davison Snr, of Myrtle Grove, Burnopfield, County Durham, had already admitted producing a chemical weapon, preparing for acts of terrorism and three counts relating to possessing the terror handbooks.

Ricin is extracted from the castor bean and exposure to small quantities can be fatal.
The US Centre for Disease Control suggested that as little as 500mg - about half a grain of rice - could be lethal if injected or inhaled, and has no known antidote.

The father and son were both remanded in custody ahead of their sentencing at Newcastle Crown Court.

After Davison Jnr's conviction, Detective Superintendent Neil Malkin said: "I have no understanding of their intended target.
"What I do know is the nature of the organisation and what it had pulled together in terms of the ricin, pipe bombs and the manuals can only give me concerns that the next step was to take it to the streets."

The Aryan Strike Force was in the early stages of preparation when it was raided last summer, and planned paramilitary operations which aimed to topple the "Zionist" government.

Members believed themselves to be the most racist group in Britain.

This is London


The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the head of the Polish professional soccer league to sanction a team for a blatant display of anti-Semitism by its fans. During a May 8 match, fans of Resovia Rzeszow displayed a large banner showing a caricatured hook-nosed Jew with a blue and white yarmulke – the colors of the opposing team – and the phrase, "Death to the Crooked Noses." "This sickening display of crude anti-Semitism is an alarming manifestation of a continuing problem in Polish society, where our opinion surveys and other polls have found disturbing levels of anti-Semitic sentiment," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "We call on the league's president to sanction Resovia Rzeszow and to apply the anti-racism practices of the European football authority, UEFA." In a letter to Mr. Andrzej Rusko, president of the Ekstraklasa league, ADL said, "An equally important measure of society is how authorities react to such incidents." "Only 700 of Rzeszow's 15,000 Jews survived the Holocaust," the letter stated. "Jews were starved and executed in Rzeszow's ghetto, which was later transformed into a concentration camp for the region. Some were sent to nearby death camps, while others were shot in the forest. Calling for death to Jews on the same spot cannot go unpunished."


Facebook privacy tweaks 'unacceptable', says EU

European data protection advisers have said it was "unacceptable" for Facebook to make some of its users' data public without their permission at the end of last year.

In a Wednesday letter to the company, the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party said social networks needed to have a default setting in which access to profile information and information about users' connections were "limited to self-selected contacts". The working party advises the European Commission on data protection issues.

"Any further access, such as by search engines, should be an explicit choice of the user," the working party said in a statement. According to the statement, the letter to Facebook said "it is unacceptable that the company fundamentally changed the default settings on its social-networking platform to the detriment of a user".


Racist caged for Muslim camp Attack (Scotland)

A vicious racist thug who screamed vile abuse at Muslim campers as they prayed at a Scots beauty spot was yesterday caged for 14 months.

Twisted Cameron Gilroy, 20, and his nine pals shouted 'P***', 'n******' and 'go back to the Caribbean' at the families who had travelled from Manchester to stay at Loch Lomond.

The dad-of-one then lobbed a lit rag through the smashed window of one of the traumatised tourists' cars - completely destroying the £5,000 motor.

Yesterday Sheriff Andrew Cubie branded the attack last June at Sallochy Bay, near Rowardennan, Stirlingshire, "absolutely appalling".
Gilroy and his pals had gone "wild camping" at the beauty spot - and ended up pitched next to Ali Muhiyye, Mahmound Muhiyye, Abdul Sharief, Bilal Sharief, Amar Sharief, Yasser Sharief, and Mussab Sharief.

But after a night of heavy drinking they started rowing with the Muslims after borrowing a torch.

As the group were finishing their pre-meal prayers before settling down to enjoy a barbecue Gilroy launched a tirade of sick slurs.
Prosecutor Sue Ruta told the court: "On one occasion the accused approached the tent of the complainers shouting 'f****** b******* and n******. Come on, we fight you faster'." The families ignored them and went to sleep - planning to move to another site the next day.

But the court heard that during the night they were awoken when the "tent started shaking" - and saw the ten yobs waiting outside.
Miss Ruta said: "The accused was heard saying 'move back to your own country'." The windows of a car were then smashed and Gilroy set a piece of petrol-soaked rag alight and threw it into the car.

Two of the tourists managed to put out the flames, but later they heard a "booming sound" as the car was set alight again - and saw Gilroy and his pals running off.

Yesterday at Stirling Sheriff Court jobless Gilroy, of Drumchapel, Glasgow, admitted wilful fire raising and shouting racist abuse. Jailing him, Sheriff Cubie said: "The courts in Stirling are sick of people coming into the area from the big city and taking part in fights while camping.

"In your case this was compounded by obnoxious anti-social behaviour towards visitors from Manchester and which culminated in you destroying a vehicle by fire."

In February The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority cited the attack when revealing plans to ban "wild camping".

The Scotish Sun

Has Klan got its hands in Queensland's Darling Downs? (Australia)

It's a question again being posed, after a local teacher was exposed as a senior KKK member.

Graeme Frederick McNeil, 46, was yesterday jailed for eight years after he faced court for helping cover up the brutal murder of a teenager in 2007.

Nineteen-year-old Robert Rowlingson had been shot and killed by his 16-year-old brother, Anthony Rowlingson, who McNeil was counselling at high school in Pittsworth, 40 kilometres outside Toowoomba.

Anthony Rowlingson is serving a life sentence for murder and has never revealed his motive for the killing, but the incident occurred after the older boy discovered KKK material on his brother's lap top.

Today's Australian newspaper linked the material to McNeil, saying documents showed he had confessed to police he was a KKK chaplain.

It is not the first time the Klan has been associated with the Darling Downs region.

In 2007, then state attorney-general Kerry Shine, a Toowoomba MP, referred to the state's Anti-Discrimination Commissioner pamphlets distributed around Toowoomba and Cairns promoting the US-based White Legion Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and asking people to join them in becoming klansmen or klanswomen.
Asked about the leaflet episode today, Mr Shine said to his knowledge nothing ever came of the investigation.
He said he had not heard of any KKK-related stirrings in the community since then.

"Not in the last couple of years," he said.

"I wouldn't be surprised if people ... had that One Nation-type view, we had 25 per cent One Nation vote up here."
Yet Mr Shine said he did not believe Toowoomba was particularly susceptible to KKK infiltration.

A Toowoomba Regional Council spokesman told brisbanetimes.com.au talk of a Klan headquarters or branch in the Darling Downs was "no more than rumours and innuendo".

However, a Toowoomba woman, who works with minority groups in the area, said she believed the KKK did have a presence the Darling Downs area.
"There is. But the last few years it's been much quieter, it's better not to give them any airtime," the woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said.

Toowoomba is home to a large African community, mostly refugees from Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Dr Mark Copland, the executive officer of the local Catholic Church's Social Justice Commission, said while the city itself was tolerant, there did exist a racist fringe.

Racist leaflets had been distributed and eggs thrown at the homes of African families, he said.
Last year, an Asian woman was racially abused by passengers in a car driven recklessly towards her as she walked home.

"But I think it's an ignorant minority," Dr Copland said.

"It's just a few members of the lunatic fringe. I like to think they would meet in a phone box, that's how many there are. Just your garden variety racists ... not anyone from the KKK that I'm aware of."

This morning a long-time resident of Pittsworth, where McNeil had taught maths and physics at high school, said residents there were "not hillbillies".
"Just because we had one bizarre individual living here .. doesn't mean Pittsworth should be painted as a racist hillbilly town," he said.
Whispers that there was a KKK branch or cluster of KKK members in the area were just rumours because "Pittsworth is a very racially tolerant town", he said.

Having lived in the area for the past 19 years, the resident, who did not want to be named, said there had been no acts of racial vilification or attacks of a racist nature against anyone.

"This teacher was, unfortunately, a dangerous eccentric," he said.

Brisbane Times

Far-right leader sues over hotel ban (Germany)

The leader of the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party, Udo Voigt, is suing a Brandenburg hotel that openly turned him away because of his far-right views, a media report said Friday.

In a legal first for Germany, a court in Frankfurt (Oder) is to rule on Voigt’s complaint on May 25, the Berliner Zeitung reported.

Last December, Hotel Esplanade in the Bad Saarow region of Brandenburg cancelled the reservation Voigt had made through a travel agent. It freely declared that it was banning him because his political views were inconsistent with the hotel’s stated aim to “offer an excellent travel experience” to every guest.

Voigt complained.
“No one can talk of arbitrariness, because Mr Voigt has been repeatedly cited for (racial) incitement. Those are objective facts,” said the hotel’s lawyer, Jörg Umlauf, to the paper.

Such bans on NPD members were also supported by the Potsdam Hotel and Guesthouse Association and the Tourism Marketing Board of Brandeburg.

Brandenburg’s Interior Minister, Rainer Speer, of the centre-left Social Democrats, told the paper: “I understand the hotel’s position. Germanic chauvinism, racism and xenophobia have no place here.”
The Local Germany

BNP failure makes chief post ‘more attractive’

The vacant chief executive’s post at Barking and Dagenham LBC should become a more attractive post following last week’s local elections, which saw the British National Party lose all of its seats in the borough, the council’s former chief has said.

Local voters opted to kick out all 12 BNP councillors in Barking and Dagenham following a hard-fought, politically fractious, election campaign, in which the local and national Labour Party targeted BNP strongholds.

Anecdotal evidence provided to The MJ - LocalGov.co.uk's sister publication - before the elections suggested potential replacements for Mr Whiteman could be discouraged by a significant BNP presence on a council representing a multi-ethnic community.

But, with Labour taking all 51 seats on the council after 6 May, the borough will now have a large degree of political direction, and officials will no doubt receive strong support to implement changes across the borough.

Rob Whiteman, who will take up his new post as chief of the Improvement and Development Agency this week, revealed his former employer delayed advertising his old post until after the town hall ballots on 6 May.

Commenting on the chief executives post this week, Mr Whiteman said: ‘We deferred advertising the position until after the election was over. The election results have returned a stable result for the next term, and there is no reason why the role would not be an attractive prospect for strong potential candidates.’

Barking and Dagenham LBC is recruiting a group manager of community cohesion.

local gov

Campaigners celebrate BNP Barking council loss

Anti-racist activists are celebrating a rewarding campaign in Barking and Dagenham, where the BNP lost all its 12 council seats.

The Jewish Council for Racial Equality played a key role, organising backers to pound the streets delivering leaflets and encouraging non-BNP supporters to cast their votes.

Jcore director Edie Friedman hailed a "cross-community campaign with fantastic results" against the "enemies of reason".

Rabbi David Hulbert of the Bet Tikvah congregation in Redbridge was also active in mobilising the anti-BNP vote. As well as staging events against the far-right party, Rabbi Hulbert was involved in an open letter to voters from the Three Faiths Forum, promoting good relations between the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities.

"We all thought they [the BNP] were going to take over the council but they were crushed," he said.

Dan Hodges of Hope not Hate acknowledged the role of Jews in the defeat of the BNP. A major motivating factor had been the memory of "that sinking feeling after waking up after the European elections", where the BNP took seats. "Those images of Griffin celebrating in Manchester were a driving force."

The JC