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Panorama Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 18:54 GMT 19:54 UK
BNP Local Election Success
BNP leader Nick Griffin
BNP Local Election Success

The British National Party has won three council seats in Burnley as a result of Thursday's English local elections.

The party, which last had a councillor elected nine years ago, also saw its candidates average 27% of the vote in Oldham.

Lord Ouseley, former chairman of the Campaign for Racial Equality, said it was a "severe chill factor" for the area's community relations.

The town's Labour MP, Peter Pike, said voters had been conned by "racist" candidates but the party insisted it had tackled concerns head-on.

BNP leader Nick Griffin called the result a "triumph".

He denied the party was exploiting racial tension in Northern towns, but he said the BNP's objective remained "an all white Britain".

Revelations

In November 2001, Panorama investigated the BNP, its image and activities.

The programme revealed the criminal pasts of some of the BNP's key officials and organisers.

It also exposed, through secret filming, how racist jokes were condoned and laughed at during a BNP gathering.

And an astonishing level of deception was shown to exist in the party's "community politics" activities.

As members of the public were still casting their votes on Thursday afternoon, the news also emerged that the party was being investigated in connection with election nomination documents.

The allegation, being looked into by police, is to do with a possible offence under the Representation of the People's Act 1983.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Inquiries continue and the Metropolitan Police are liaising with the Crown Prosecution Service."

BNP: under the skin


ANALYSIS

FORUM
See also:

01 May 02 | UK Politics
Links to more Panorama stories are at the foot of the page.


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