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Last Updated: Friday, 28 April 2006, 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK
Theatre removes BNP drama teacher
A theatre in Kent has sacked its drama tutor after it was revealed she had been working for the British National Party (BNP).

It happened after a newspaper revealed that Emma Chamberlain, from Deal, presented interviews and features on the far-right party's website.

The Astor Theatre Arts Centre in Deal said it had decided not to renew her contract "with immediate effect".

A BNP spokesman said Ms Chamberlain was the victim of a witch-hunt.

Ms Chamberlain had worked at the theatre for four years as a drama co-ordinator, which involved teaching children aged from four to 14.

The Astor Theatre trustees discussed her position over the Easter holidays and decided not to renew the contract.

There is nothing wrong with people in the BNP - this is a very wicked lie
Phil Edwards, BNP spokesman

Labour MP for Dover and Deal, Gwyn Prosser, said the endorsement of people such as Ms Chamberlain was the type of support the BNP was looking for.

"Is it right that someone who supports that political party should be teaching young children? I say 'no'," he said.

"I do not mind whether the person doing that job is a Liberal Democrat or Conservative or Labour Party or Green Party member.

"I do mind if they are members of extreme right parties."

He said the theatre's reputation had not been damaged because it acted swiftly.

But BNP spokesman Phil Edwards said removing Ms Chamberlain was not in the theatre's best interests.

"I think the people who have created this witch-hunt hysteria will ultimately be called to account for damaging that theatre centre," he said.

"There are many people there who will miss the skills of this young lady.

"There is nothing wrong with people in the BNP - this is a very wicked lie."

The Astor Theatre and Ms Chamberlain were both approached by the BBC but declined to comment.




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