Page last updated at 13:06 GMT, Saturday, 3 May 2008 14:06 UK

BNP wins seat in London Assembly

Richard Barnbrook's speech on winning seat

The anti-immigration British National Party has won a seat on the London Assembly after getting 5.3% of votes.

Richard Barnbrook, who is BNP leader on Barking and Dagenham Council and who came fifth in the mayoral contest, will take up one of the 25 assembly seats.

He said he would stand up for Londoners regardless of "colour or identity" as long they fitted in "to the environment they come into".

But critics said it was a victory for "hatred, violence and stupidity".

London voters elected 14 of the London Assembly members directly, with the remaining 11 divided between the parties in proportion to London-wide votes.

Mr Barnbrook, who came fifth in the mayoral race with 69,000 votes, had promised to give the "real people of London" a voice.

'This is Britain'

All the mayoral candidates were allowed to give speeches at City Hall after the results were declared.

Amid protests outside and some people walking out, Mr Barnbrook gave a three-minute speech in which he said he would scrutinise all mayoral spending.

"If this city of ours is so great in its multiculturalism and its diversity, why is it that a small minority get a large proportion of the finance paid by.. the majority that fund this city," he said.

Do not be nervous. As long as you abide by our identity and laws of this land, come to me and I will see where we can help
Richard Barnbrook

He said he would stand up for all Londoners regardless of "colour or identity" as long as "you play part within the identity of this great city".

"People should remain as individuals and belong to the environment they come from or they come into.

"This is Britain, it is for the British people... it is not for people to enter into this land dictating what will or will not happen to the people that created it and built it over generations."

He was asked later on BBC London's Vanessa Feltz Show what he would say to people from ethnic minorities who might be afraid to approach him for help.

He said: "Do not be nervous. As long as you abide by our identity and laws of this land, come to me and I will see where we can help."

'Voluntary resettlement'

The BNP campaign focused heavily on tackling crime and stopping recent immigrants jumping ahead of people who had been on council housing waiting lists for a long time.

There were also pledges to scrap the congestion charge, pull out of the EU, plant more fruit trees and provide solar panels on public buildings.

But immigration is the BNP's best known policy area - they want an immediate halt to it, deportation of all illegal immigrants and they propose offering money for "voluntary resettlement whereby those immigrants who are legally here will be afforded the opportunity to return to their lands of ethnic origin".

We are particularly worried about the effect that the election of a BNP assembly member will have on race relations and community harmony
Dave Prentis
Unison union

The BNP have had a number of councillors elected in recent years, but until these elections had never had anyone elected to a higher profile position.

The BNP campaign had prompted other politicians - and the Bishop of Barking among others - to call for voters not to elect the party.

Campaign group Hope Not Hate launched a huge operation across the capital to dissuade Londoners from voting for the BNP.

Gerry Gable from the group said: "A BNP victory means hatred, violence and stupidity.

"Richard Barnbrook being returned I think is a disaster for the BNP because the guy is inept, his track record had been dreadful. On his own he will sink without a trace."

Dave Prentis, general secretary of the Unison union, said: "We are particularly worried about the effect that the election of a BNP assembly member will have on race relations and community harmony."



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THE ELECTION RESULTS
COUNCIL RESULTS
  Councillors Councils
Party +/- Total +/- Total
CON 257 3155 12 65
LAB -334 2365 -9 18
LD 33 1804 1 12
PC 31 205 -1 0
OTH 10 898 0 0
NOC - - -3 64
159 of 159 councils declared.

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Results in more detail

London Mayoral results
Overall results
Name Party Votes
Johnson CON 1,168,738
Livingstone LAB 1,028,966
Paddick LD 878,097
Berry GRN 409,101

Find your results

Results in more detail

London Assembly Results
Overall results
Party Constit' Top-up Total seats
CON 8 3 11
LAB 6 2 8
LD 0 3 3
GRN 0 2 2
BNP 0 1 1

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Results in more detail


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