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Billy Bragg dismisses hatemail campaign

Singer Billy Bragg has described a hatemail campaign against him as "the powerless ranting of a bitter individual".

Anonymous letters attacking Bragg, well-known for his left-wing views, were sent to his neighbours in the Dorset village of Burton Bradstock.

Bragg said he believed the letter, which branded him a hypocrite for moving to the area from London, was written by a "disgruntled supporter of the British National Party".

The singer has been a vocal critic of the far-right party and campaigned against it in the recent general election in his home town of Barking.

He said: "Fortunately, the BNP are a busted flush, their divisive politics rejected by the electorate at the last election, their organisation now collapsing into in-fighting. This letter is nothing more than the powerless ranting of a bitter individual who is angry that, even in a sleepy village like ours, people reject the politics of racism.

"I'm sorry if anyone who received this letter was disturbed by its contents. My advice to any recipients is to throw it in the bin where it belongs. I will continue to campaign against racism wherever I find it, comfortable in the knowledge that, after 11 happy years living in Burton Bradstock, people here have already made up their minds about me, one way or another."

Bragg rose to fame in the 1980s and played a prominent part in Red Wedge - a group of musicians set up to support the Labour Party.