Saturday, 21 March 2009

Ken Booth arrested for friendly banter

Strange things seem to be happening in the North East of England with regards the British National Party (BNP) candidates standing in the forthcoming European elections in June.

The number one list candidate and leading community campaigner, Adam Walker, a Sunderland schoolteacher, is facing a further free speech hearing at the General Teaching Council (GTC) in Birmingham later this year after remarks he made on an internet forum critical of immigration and Islam. The second candidate on the list, Peter Mailer, has been arrested twice by Northumbria Police after complaints about politically incorrect material displayed in his pub in Warkworth, Northumberland, after an initial complaint by an off-duty top copper from Nottingham, whose identity still remains a mystery.

Now Ken Booth, who lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, the number three candidate on the list and the regional organiser for the BNP in the North East, has been arrested and bailed by Northumbria Police. It follows a complaint of 'racially aggravated' harassment by a muslim Labour councillor in the city, Dipu Ahad, after a recent election count at Newcastle's Civic Centre where Mr Booth polled nearly 30% of the vote in the closely contested Fenham by-election and came close to causing an upset in a seat that Labour subsequently lost to the Liberal Democrats, who also control the city council after decades of Labour rule. Mr Booth had also previously polled very strongly in Councillor Ahad's neighbouring Elswick ward last May.

Following the arrest, Acting Chief Inspector Sav Patsalos of Northumbria Police said: "When any such incidents are brought to our attention they are treated very seriously and we take appropriate action."

However, the actual 'incident' was bizarrely initiated by Councillor Ahad prior to the count, who was smiling throughout and which ended in a friendly handshake between the two men. Councillor Ahad then made the complaint a few days later despite the presence of numerous police officers from Northumbria Police at this important election count.

In response to Ken Booth's arrest, a spokesman for the BNP said: "The public can see what is happening and I am sure that in this particular instance, we, as a party, have got nothing to fear. People in the North East are sick and tired of this politically correct nonsense."

The 'banter' at the count was also witnessed by two female Labour councillors, one of whom is a muslim, and a researcher for the Newcastle Labour MP, Jim Cousins. A number of BNP scrutineers at the count also witnessed the good-natured exchange. The subsequent complaint to Northumbria Police by the muslim Labour councillor is seen as 'politically-motivated' by many in the city after the enormous amount of support Ken Booth and the BNP has gained recently in certain parts of Newcastle.

He has been bailed until Wednesday, April the 15th.

This was take from the Civil Liberty website which you can read here

1 comment:

Survive And Evolve said...

So I guess the lesson to be learned is not to 'banter' with ethnic candidates otherwise they will have the opportunity to play the race card.