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Last Updated: Friday, 22 August, 2003, 22:20 GMT 23:20 UK
BNP councillor resigns over fight
Luke Smith celebrates winning a seat for the BNP in Burnley
Luke Smith's resignation means there will now be a by-election
A British National Party (BNP) councillor who was suspended from the party following a fight last weekend has resigned his seat on Burnley Borough Council.

Luke Smith admitted taking part in a fight at the BNP's Red, White and Blue Festival at Sawley, Lancashire, on Saturday.

Mr Smith - who has also been banned from Burnley FC's games at Turf Moor after admitting a public order offence - said he stood down because of the way he had been treated by the BNP.

His resignation means there will now be a by-election in the Lanehead ward.

BNP spokesman Dr Phill Edwards said it was not yet known if the party would field a candidate.

We don't want people to think our councillors are brawling

But he added: "We would be letting our supporters down if we did not."

Mr Smith "gave the party the wrong", Dr Edwards said.

"It's very disappointing but following his misbehaviour he had to step down.

"We don't want people to think our councillors are brawling."

'Sacrificial lamb'

Mr Smith's uncle and former party organiser, Steven Smith, said he was unhappy with what had happened as his nephew had been defending himself.

He added: "Luke feels his position is untenable. He has been a sacrificial lamb."

Mr Smith had alleged he had been attacked by one of BNP leader Nick Griffin's minders.

But, earlier in the week, Mr Griffin dismissed this as a "fantasy" and said he would push for Mr Smith to be expelled from the party.

Suspended BNP councillor fights back
19 Aug 03  |  Lancashire
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07 Aug 03  |  Lancashire
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15 May 03  |  Lancashire
BNP becomes Burnley's second party
02 May 03  |  Lancashire

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