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Last Updated: Monday, 13 March 2006, 14:30 GMT
BNP Mayoress stripped of position
Councillor Rose Thompson
Councillor Thompson was elected as an independent member
The Mayoress of Keighley has been stripped of her position after joining the British National Party.

Mayor Tony Wright said he was "gobsmacked" by the decision of his fellow ward councillor, Rose Thompson, to give up her independent status.

He said some voters were offended and she should stand for re-election.

Ms Thompson said: "I am not bothered. Some people may be appalled but a lot of people are quite happy that someone is standing up."

Her move means there are now two BNP representatives on Keighley Town Council.

Move 'offensive'

Mayor Wright, who lives in the Woodhouse and Hainworth ward, said he had known Ms Thompson for years but could no longer ask her to be his Mayoress of the Occasion following her decision.

He said he was surprised by her decision to join the BNP, describing her as someone with a "live and let live" attitude.

"Everyone has the right to change their political affiliation but she's my ward councillor and as a voter within that ward I feel she should give me the chance to vote for someone who isn't a BNP member."

Ms Thompson's sister, Mary Lister, told BBC News: "I am quite shocked at her decision.

"Personally, I don't want to see the BNP survive in Keighley."


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