Page last updated at 19:19 GMT, Friday, 20 February 2009

BNP unseats Labour in by-election

Councillor Paul Golding
Councillor Paul Golding said it was impossible to get a council house

The British National Party (BNP) has beaten Labour in a district council by-election in Kent.

Paul Golding won the Swanley St Mary's ward in Sevenoaks District after receiving 408 votes. Mike Hogg, the Labour candidate, gained 322 votes.

Tony Searles increased the Conservative party's share of the poll from 208 in May 2007 to 247 on Thursday.

The Swanley St Mary's ward was seen as a Labour enclave in the Conservative controlled district of Sevenoaks.

Councillor Golding called it the BNP's first breakthrough south of the River Thames.

He said: "Young people in this ward have said they find it almost impossible to get a council house.

They're not here to provide better services for people - they want the publicity
Michael Fallon
Conservative MP for Sevenoaks

"I've spoken to parents who are angered by this.

"All the council houses are all given to foreigners and asylum seekers - that has got to stop."

He added: "This is our country at the end of the day. We should be put first. It's as simple as that."

BNP voter Trevor Elliott said he voted for the party because they said they would "crack down as much as they can on vandalism and the gangs of youths that we get".

But the Conservative MP for Sevenoaks, Michael Fallon, said: "It appears as a nasty party.

"They're not here to provide better services for people - they want the publicity that comes from a result like this.

"That's obviously worrying and I think all the political parties have to respond."

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