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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 17:16 GMT 18:16 UK
MP's political correctness fears
Political correctness is "completely out of hand" and driving people to vote for the British National Party, a Shipley MP has warned.

Tory Philip Davies told the House of Commons public debate was being stifled by a fear of causing offence, driving voters to support the far-right party.

But Commons leader Geoff Hoon said recent local government campaigns had shown democracy was alive and well.

"I simply don't accept what you are saying," he said.

At the weekend, employment minister Margaret Hodge said white working class voters felt Labour was ignoring their concerns and they were being "tempted" by the BNP.

People 'not afraid'

Speaking during Commons exchanges on Thursday, Mr Davies called for a debate on political correctness now Ms Hodge had "cottoned onto the fact that the actions of this Government has led to an increase in support for the BNP".

He added: "Perhaps an urgent debate on this issue might actually stop people feeling the need to vote for these unpleasant parties."

The BNP have several candidates standing in Bradford in May's local elections, including one for the Shipley ward who is standing against candidates from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Green party.

Yorkshire regional organiser for the party, Nick Cass, said that contrary to Mr Davies' comments, people were so fed up of political correctness they were no longer afraid to express their views.

"I think people were afraid to speak out but they are getting so fed up now with the effects of the present and previous governments that they've got through their fear.

"These tough words are just trying to win the votes they're losing to the BNP."

Liberal Democrat councillor John Briggs said Mr Davies' time would be better spent concentrate on policies and not slogans.

"I don't see any connection between political correctness and the BNP," he said.

"The issue is to fight them on policies and we aren't frightened of them in that because we believe we can beat them."

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