Anti-BNP protesters expected at BBC headquarters

Protesters are to gather outside BBC headquarters tomorrow as the British National Party's election broadcast is aired.

The BBC is accused by campaign group Unite Against Fascism (UAF) of giving "unwarranted and uncritical coverage" of the BNP during the run-up to the election.

The BNP's five-minute party election broadcast (PEB) is set to be aired on BBC1 at 6.55pm.

UAF's protest at Broadcasting House in central London will be supported by the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (Bectu), as well as the Muslim Council of Britain and Jewish Council for Racial Equality.

A BBC spokesman said the Corporation was "obliged to treat political parties contesting the election with due impartiality", as set out in its charter.

He added: "Over the course of the election, we will ensure appropriate scrutiny as we would with any party."

But UAF joint secretary Sabby Dhalu said: "The BBC has given unwarranted and uncritical coverage of the BNP during this election campaign, particularly on TV news and Radio 4, which has failed to challenge its racist scapegoating of immigrants and Islamophobia.

"The BBC's justification for giving the BNP more coverage is the election of two BNP MEPs last year. This is misguided.

"Giving the BNP a platform and failing to expose and challenge it gives the BNP a veneer of legitimacy.

"The BNP is a fascist organisation, not a normal political party, and the public does not pay its licence fee to see fascists broadcast their politics of hate."

Gerry Morrissey, general secretary of Bectu, said the BNP's policies were "abhorrent to the vast majority of hard working people".

He said: "The BNP would like to scare people to believing they have something to fear from multiculturalism, and their policies of hatred and racism should not be given airtime by our broadcasters."

BNP leader Nick Griffin's controversial appearance on Question Time in October led to the BBC Television Centre in west London being "locked down" due to a surge of protesters.

Campaigners brought traffic to a standstill as they demonstrated against the decision to invite him on the flagship current affairs programme.

Launching the party's 90-page election manifesto last week, Mr Griffin said: "We say Britain is full. It is the most overcrowded country in Europe and it is time to shut the doors."

Mr Griffin, a parliamentary candidate for Barking, east London, recently came under fire from the owners of Marmite after the BNP featured a jar of the savoury spread in an online preview of its PEB without permission.

In the online version, Mr Griffin sits at a desk in front of a framed photograph of Sir Winston Churchill.

He tells viewers: "I will put British people first all the time, every time, and I don't care what the politicians and media liars say because of it.

"I tell the truth. So don't waste your vote - do the one thing that will really upset politicians: get your own back.

"Get up, get out and vote British National Party - then they will listen."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: GeoDatabase Specialist - Hazard Modelling

£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...

Recruitment Genius: Compressed Air Pipework Installation Engineer

£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Coordinator - Pallet Network

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: On behalf of a successful academy i...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project