Working-class BNP vote is a cry for help, says Labour MP

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The white working-class BNP vote is a "cry for help", suggests the MP in whose constituency the raids took place on Wednesday.

Roger Godsiff, the Labour MP for Birmingham Sparkbrook and Small Heath, was consulted by local police on how to calm tensions in the wake of the raids. But has courted controversy in a hard-hitting interview about the state of community relations in areas such as his, blaming mainstream politicians for failing to tackle the issue of race.

"It's like walking on eggshells. The only people that do talk about it are the xenophobes of the BNP. In areas like Dagenham you get a dozen BNP councillors elected. Does that mean that people in Dagenham are hard-nosed racists and fascists? I don't believe that. It's like a cry for help."

Mr Godsiff said society was naïve in not anticipating how easily disaffected Muslim youths could be preyed on by extremists.