Battle of Barking starts to move into town

THE BATTLE for Barking is looming as Britain s most controversial politician announced to stand as a parliamentary candidate in the constituency. British National Party leader Nick Griffin, whose appearance on BBC s Question Time last month caused nation

THE BATTLE for Barking is looming as Britain's most controversial politician announced to stand as a parliamentary candidate in the constituency.

British National Party leader Nick Griffin, whose appearance on BBC's Question Time last month caused national outrage, will try to topple Labour MP Margaret Hodge at the election next May.

The party has been criticised heavily for its position on race and immigration.

Mr Griffin told the POST why he chose Barking: "Because pretty much all our people locally including Richard Barnbrook asked me to stand.


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"We believe that we have a huge amount of support down in Barking."

He said that Barking and Dagenham councillor Richard Barnbrook would aim to become council leader in the local elections which will probably be held on the same date as the general election.

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"Richard's analysis was that a double dose of recognition in the constituency will significantly increase our chances of winning," he added.

A BNP contester for Jon Cruddas' Dagenham seat would also be chosen from a shortlist within the next ten days.

Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who has been representing Barking in parliament since 1994, has hit back by saying she would expose the BNP for what it was.

She said: "Barking Labour Party has been fighting the BNP for the last three years, so we have been expecting a BNP candidate to stand against me and it now turns out to be Nick Griffin.

"He has no interest in Barking or local issues. It just shows how much he cares for Barking that he announced his intention to stand from Wigan.

"He and the BNP seek to twist and exploit the legitimate concerns of local residents who are frustrated by the shortage of affordable housing and the pace of change that has taken place in recent years. They seek to divide the local community but they don't offer any solutions.

"We want to expose the BNP for what they really are, not what they pretend to be. "The more people see the BNP the less they like them.

"I want better public services, more affordable housing and a borough where there is a place for everyone and where the community comes together. That's what I will be fighting for at the next general election."

If elected into parliament in May next year, Mr Griffin's post as MEP for the North West of England would be filled by Martin Wingfield, a prospective BNP candidate for the Workington constituency in Cumbria.

Mr Griffin said that Cllr Barnbrook would give up his post as a London Assembly member if the party seized control of the borough.

That post would go to the second person on the shortlist - probably to Cllr Bob Bailey, who is leader of the BNP Barking and Dagenham.

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