Labour and Tories condemn ‘hate-driven’ BNP campaign

In a rare demonstration of cross-party unity in Croydon for the benefit of the locals, four Labour councillors have today come together with a local Tory MP and Conservative London Assembly Member to condemn a “hate-driven” anti-Muslim campaign in New Addington which they claim is being orchestrated by the fascists of the British National Party.

BNP rosetteCarole Bonner and Simon Hall, the Labour councillors for Fieldway, together with Oliver Lewis and Louisa Woodley, the New Addington councillors, issued the joint statement with Gavin Barwell, the Croydon Central MP, and AM Steve O’Connell. The statement condemned the BNP ahead of a public meeting planned for this Sunday, part of a campaign which opposes the building of a mosque in the area – even though there are no such plans.

“It is clear that the whole ‘New Addington Mosque’ campaign, including street stalls and this meeting, is being run by the British National Party as an opportunistic hate-driven campaign,” the statement reads.

“There is a very strong community in New Addington. The BNP is seeking to divide this strong community and create tensions in a community where people from many different races and religions happily live together and support each other. Sadly, this is not the first time they have tried to do this in New Addington.

“The BNP has, throughout this campaign, sought to whip up fear and incite Islamophobia. Apart from anything else, this is so wrong for the approximately 1 in 20 residents of New Addington who are Muslim. We believe that, as before, the people of New Addington will unite to oppose this.

“As well as all sorts of distortions and half-truths peddled by the BNP, the whole basis of this campaign is flawed. They have mis-represented an article with a misleading headline about a Muslim group that was looking for a site to worship from somewhere in the east of the borough and turned it into a fiction that there is a plan to build a mosque in New Addington.

“The BNP like to think of themselves as patriots. But there is nothing British about seeking to deny people the freedom to practice their religion. Their values are the opposite of British values.

“New Addington is a venue for many different religions and religious groups, who celebrate their religion at various venues, some dedicated and some multi-use buildings. We believe in religious tolerance and religious freedom and that different religions should be able to celebrate their faith. We therefore would have no problem with the principle of there being a mosque in New Addington.

“We are committed to supporting New Addington to remain a tolerant community with a strong sense of community and identity.”

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This entry was posted in Carole Bonner, Croydon Central, Fieldway, Gavin Barwell, London Assembly, Louisa Woodley, New Addington, Oliver Lewis, Simon Hall, Steve O'Connell and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Labour and Tories condemn ‘hate-driven’ BNP campaign

  1. sed30 says:

    Reblogged this on sed30's Blog and commented:
    Not for the first time.

  2. davidcallam says:

    If Muslim people can raise the money to build a mosque in New Addington, or anywhere else in the borough, good luck to them.

    I hope these small-minded BNP fascists are sent packing. There is no place in Croydon for their kind of hatred, which their derisory polling in every election since World War Two has amply demonstrated.

  3. mraemiller says:

    I take it Joshua Bonehill-Paine’s still at large then

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