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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 July 2007, 16:18 GMT 17:18 UK
BNP web-page councillor suspended
A British National Party councillor has been suspended for publishing material which was "hateful and abusive" to ethnic minorities.

Councillor Simon Smith of Sandwell Council in the Black Country put the material on his council web-page.

His three-month suspension follows an investigation by the Standards Board for England.

The council said it was suspending him for bringing his office and authority into disrepute.

'Incite resentment'

He was also suspended for using the authority's resources for party political purposes.

The Standards Board's ethical officer decided Councillor Smith had used his web page to put forward views which were "designed to incite resentment and ill-feeling towards a section of the community for no other reason than their ethnicity."

He concluded the material would also damage the council's reputation.

He said Mr Smith's criticisms of the local Labour Party and promotion of the British National Party were party political in nature and, as such, did not comply with council rules on the use of members' web pages.

When asked if he wished to comment on the matter Councillor Smith would only use a quote attributed to George Orwell: "In a time of universal deceit, speaking the truth is a revolutionary act."

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