BNP are legacy of Nazis, Blunkett says

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Indy Politics

David Blunkett compared the British National Party to the Nazis yesterday as he mounted a scathing attack on the "thugs" and "liars" of the extreme right.

David Blunkett compared the British National Party to the Nazis yesterday as he mounted a scathing attack on the "thugs" and "liars" of the extreme right.

Speaking before next month's council and European contests, the Home Secretary said the BNP represented a "real worry" to the country.

The party is fielding a record 400 candidates in the elections and believes it could be within sight of securing its first seats in the European Parliament and London Assembly. Although opinion polls suggest it is being optimistic, ministers have been alarmed by the prospect of it gaining a foothold in the North-west and West Yorkshire.

Mr Blunkett said: "Those who use fear as a method of stirring up hatred and conflict are deeply dangerous and they themselves in the case of the BNP are thugs. All the evidence is very clear in terms of the criminality, the candidates, the organisation behind them.

"So many people in the run-up to the D-Day commemorations have to be reminded that we fought against the fascists. They are the legacy of those fascists, Oswald Mosley here and the Nazis on the Continent."

In an interview with PA News, he said: "I think there's a genuine worry. That's why I place so much emphasis on securing people's confidence in terms of tackling crime, dealing with illegal entry into the country. Because only when people feel we are on their side and that we can make a difference will they listen to our arguments and respond to our reason in terms of the fact that the BNP - and on asylum the UKIP - they are promising the impossible.

"That is that somehow you can stop people coming to our country and stop people moving around the world. They are just lying. We can't do that."

Phil Edwards, a spokesman for the BNP, said: "I reckon Blunkett has got the wind up. He is lashing out - he doesn't care what he says. But it won't wash."

He added: "We're not fascists. What is a fascist party? A fascist party has a single unelected leader. Anyone who is a member of the BNP can be our leader ... We have lots of members who are ex-servicemen who fought in the last war."

* A BNP local election candidate charged in connection with football violence was banned yesterday from travelling abroad during Euro 2004. The restriction was placed on Ian Clegg, 35, as a condition of his bail by magistrates in Stoke-on-Trent. Mr Clegg, who is hoping to win a seat on the city council, is accused of behaving in a threatening manner after Stoke City's match against West Ham on 24 April.

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