This is a press release sent to me
London Assembly Member Murad Qureshi has issued a call to arms to London’s voters, saying the British National Party (BNP) have a “real and worryingly good chance” of winning seats in next year’s GLA elections.
Because of the electoral system used for the GLA, the far-right British National Party need only 5 per cent of London’s votes to gain a seat on the Assembly; 8 per cent would give them two seats. At the last election in 2004, Nick Griffin’s party were just 0.1% away from winning a seat.
Four years ago – when the GLA election coincided with the European election – the BNP’s vote was highest in areas where the UK Independence Party (UKIP) was also popular. Alarmingly, with no Euro elections this time round, there are fears that as many as 20% of UKIP voters could switch to the BNP.
This alone would give the party 6.5% of the vote, enough to see them elected. Coupled with their recent successes in London (they now have 12 councillors in Barking and Dagenham, and one each in Havering and Redbridge), everything points to a disturbing victory this May.
Murad said, “What these stats tell us is that this racist, fascist party are worryingly close to gaining real power in the capital. London’s voters should know that any complacency will see the BNP elected and given the power to decide the Mayor’s budget.
“I am proud to live in what is probably the most tolerant, diverse city in the world with its long history of rejecting reactionary, divisive politics. The only way we can continue this proud tradition and defend our city from the despicable BNP is at the ballot box in May 2008. It is not a done deal, but Londoners have to get out there and vote”
Murad is one of six candidates from an Asian background standing for Labour in the GLA elections next May. The others are Navin Shah, Shafi Khan, Ranjit Dheer, Balvinder Saund and Ansuya Sodha.
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: Race politics