New Addington centre refuses to stage BNP meeting

Organisers – including at least one member of the British National Party – who wanted to hold a meeting in New Addington on Sunday have been told that they will not now be able to stage their event in the local community centre.

“There’s no meeting. I’m not saying any more on the matter,” an official at the Addington Community Association centre, clearly uncomfortable at the controversial nature of the meeting and its organisers, told Inside Croydon today.

BNP official John Clarke: has been behind campaign in New Addington

BNP official John Clarke: has been behind campaign in New Addington

Sources in Katharine Street suggest that the decision to withdraw permission for the meeting was taken by the hall’s manager after Croydon Council reminded them of the terms of the Central Parade venue’s lease agreement.

Earlier this week, in an unprecedented move, local Labour and Tory politicians issued a statement jointly to condemn the meeting and the motivations behind it.

The meeting is believed to have been organised by John Clarke, a New Addington resident who stood for the British National Party in Fieldway ward in May’s local elections, polling the grand total of 210 votes.

Clarke is one of four BNP local candidates in Croydon who have been investigated by the police for failing to submit their election expenses within 35 days, a criminal offence. Clarke, who acted as election agent for the BNP in Croydon, admitted that he failed to comply with the law, blaming the borough’s returning officer for failing to send him the forms.

It is not the first time that Clarke has had a brush with the law over election procedures: Clarke sought election as a BNP candidate in Merton in 2006 but used a false address on his nomination papers to get round the rule that council candidates must live or work in the borough.

Clarke is understood to be behind the New Addington “community campaign”, including a petition against a mosque – something for which there are no plans.

“They are pretending to run a community campaign, claiming it’s not political. They are leafleting, knocking on doors, as well as running a street stall once or twice per week,” one concerned local resident told Inside Croydon.

“There is no doubt it is causing tensions.”

Our source suggests that the non-existent New Addington mosque has in some ways become a symbol of discontent and deprivation across the community in difficult times.

There are around a thousand Muslims living in New Addington, according to the 2011 census. “Muslims in our community are feeling concerned. Other black and minority ethnic  groups will also be feeling some concern because they are seeing the BNP being so prominent and, seemingly, a number of local residents being favourable to them.”

The cancellation of Sunday’s public meeting in the community centre may help in easing some of those tensions and concerns.

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1 Response to New Addington centre refuses to stage BNP meeting

  1. Though I am NOT defending the BNP I would like to ask some questions. Isn’t Britain a democratic country? Shouldn’t all voters be able to voice their opinion in a democratic country? Just because we don’t agree with their policies doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to voice their opinion.

    What if this was a meeting organised by a certain community? We would have seen all kinds of headlines, bullets and death threats.

    Are we trying to suppress the voice of certain British people (I don’t agree with the BNP) who want to hold a peaceful meeting and allow those who use violence and death threats to do anything they want?

    I am just asking these questions and I am sure some one will twist this and report it to say that I am supporting the BNP and as you know well I clearly don’t support the BNP.

    What about UKIP meetings?

    By suppressing their voice we are giving them more publicity.

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