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General Election 2005: Far-right BNP ready to fight in Knowsley.

Byline: BY ALAN WESTON

ALARM was expressed last night at the decision by the far-right British National Party to field at least one parliamentary candidate on Merseyside.

The group will forward a candidate for the Knowsley North and Sefton East constituency at the May 5 general election, but has said candidates for more Merseyside seats may emerge before nominations close on April 19.

The Merseyside Coalition Against Racism & Fascism (MCARF) said it was concerned about the decision by the BNP to stand a candidate, despite there being no history of support for the group in the constituency, which covers parts of Kirkby, Huyton, Knowsley Village, Aintree, Maghull and Ince Blundell.

Alec McFadden, President of MCARF, said: 'Every place the BNP have stood in Merseyside the local electors have rejected them and in Ellesmere Port they came bottom of the list.

'The coalition will work with all democratic and political parties to oppose the BNP and to warn people of the real politics of this party and the dangers of voting for this party of race hate.

'The BNP require 10 names from people living within the constituency to be able to stand in the election, which includes the names and addresses of those people, which will remain on record forever.

'We therefore call on the good sense of the people of Knowsley and Sefton not to be tricked into signing to openly support this fascist and anti racist party in the election Political leaders in Knowsley and Sefton have already condemned the move, describing the BNP as 'odious' and calling on voters to turn their backs on it.

Labour MP George Howarth, who won Knowsley North at a 1986 byelection, said he expected the BNP to get a 'resounding rebuff from the electorate'.

The BNP has said it is planning to stand in more than 120 constituencies where there is a 'strong anti-European vote.'

In last year's local council elections on Merseyside, all the farright party's candidates were soundly beaten at the polls and did not come close to winning a seat.

The announcement by the BNP comes in the same week that its leader, Nick Griffin, 45, was bailed after appearing in court charged with four race hate offences.

He was charged by West Yorkshire Police following a BBC documentary which secretly filmed BNP activists

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Offending BNP literature calling for asylum seekers to be sent home
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 9, 2005
Words:399
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