BBC HOMEPAGE | NEWS | WORLD SERVICE | SPORT | MY BBC low graphics | help
news vote 2001search vote 2001
 You are in: Vote2001
VOTE2001 
Main Issues 
Features 
Crucial Seats 
Key People 
Parties 
Results &  Constituencies 
Opinion Polls 
Online 1000 
Virtual Vote 
Talking Point 
Forum 
AudioVideo 
Programmes 
Voting System 
Local Elections 
Nations 

N Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 

BBC News

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

 A/V REPORTS
The deputy mayor of Oldham, Riaz Ahmed
"It's a worrying time for everyone involved"
 real 56k

The BBC's Margaret Gilmore
"Community leaders and the police are working hard"
 real 56k

Friday, 8 June, 2001, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
BNP prompts Oldham concern
Oldham riot scene
Oldham's racial tensions recently erupted into violence
BBC News Online's community affairs reporter Cindi John examines the future for Oldham after the BNP's strong showing in the election.

An Oldham councillor has said he fears the town will now be further targeted by the British National Party after it recorded its best ever election result there.

Abdul Quayum, whose ward is in the constituency where the BNP came in third, believed the result would encourage the extreme right-wing party to stand in next year's local elections.

"What they'll do is keep inciting the trouble and I'm sure they will target the local council election as well in Oldham," he said.

"At the end of the day I think we need to resolve our own issues rather than having external organisations like the BNP coming into Oldham and trying to incite trouble."

Abdul Quayum
Abdul Quayum: "BNP incites trouble"
He added that although a right-wing backlash had been expected following recent racial problems, many people had been surprised by the size of the vote gained by the BNP candidates in Oldham.

The party's leader, Nick Griffin, won just over 16% of the votes cast in Oldham West and Royton. In the neighbouring constituency of Oldham East and Saddleworth, the BNP collected around 11% of the votes.

It was the first time the BNP had saved its deposit in an election in the north of England.

'Intimidation and bigotry'

The BNP's performance in Oldham was condemned by Labour's Michael Meacher who held on to the Oldham West and Royton seat.

Mr Meacher said: "It has of course been on the back of a systematic campaign of violence, intimidation and bigotry which has been perpetrated on the people of Oldham."

He said the BNP had made most progress in persuading Conservative voters to switch to the BNP but added that it had made little headway in racially-mixed areas.

Michael Meacher
Michael Meacher said BNP stirred up prejudices

"Where white communities were living at some distance and quite remote, with no Asians in the immediate neighbourhood, that is where the greatest swing to the BNP occurred.

"This suggests that it is fears and stereotypes and prejudices which have been stirred up terribly in this last four weeks."

But that was disputed by Mr Griffin who dismissed Mr Meacher's claim as 'Labour spin'.

He said in some areas, where white and Asian people were equally divided, around half the votes had been for the BNP.

"In both those areas if you go around there at the moment there are dozens and dozens of white houses with their windows smashed and boarded up," said Mr Griffin.

"It's those areas, the people who have to live with multiculturalism, who voted for the British National Party."

 A/V CONSOLE
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS

Latest news

What next?

Election battlegrounds

TALKING POINT
PARTY WEB LINKS



The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Related stories:

08 Jun 01 |  Vote2001
BNP polls strongly in Oldham
23 May 01 |  Wales
Archbishop's concern over BNP
25 May 99 |  Parties and Issues
British National Party

Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
©BBC