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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 September, 2004, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
Anger over firefighter's BNP ties
The protest
Protestors turned out at the meeting in Eastleigh
Calls for a part-time firefighter to be sacked for being a member of the BNP have been made by protesters at a meeting of fire service bosses.

The Fire Brigades Union wants Ian Johnson out of his job with the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service because of his political beliefs.

It has also called for the service to tighten up its policies on the membership of political parties.

Its members turned out at Wednesday's meeting of the county's fire authority.

Ian Johnson
The fire service has backed Mr Johnson's employment

Mr Johnson, 53, who is based in Brockenhurst and has had a 30-year career in the fire service, told the BBC: "I am not a racist person.

"I just choose to be a member of the BNP. I have a right to do that in a democratic country."

The fire service has in the past said it would not sack the retained leading fireman, who stood as a BNP candidate in the recent European elections.

It says it abhors racism and that Mr Johnson is not breaking the law or service regulations.

But Dean Mills, Fire Brigade Union executive council member, said: "Of course the BNP are a legal party.

"Just because something's not illegal doesn't in my view necessarily make it any less wrong."




SEE ALSO:
Call to sack BNP fireman rejected
16 Jun 04  |  Hampshire/Dorset


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