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No place for far-right politics

PUBLISHED: 18:32 24 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:02 03 March 2010

ATTEMPTS by the far-right British National Party to build support in Suffolk by highlighting rural fears have failed, a leading anti-racism campaigner said today.

ATTEMPTS by the far-right British National Party to build support in Suffolk by highlighting rural fears have failed, a leading anti-racism campaigner said today.

The BNP's attempts to raise its profile in the region were highlighted in a BBC documentary programme last night.

Party chairman Nick Griffin was brought up on a farm at Huntingfield near Halesworth – although he now lives in mid-Wales.

Mr Griffin said the crisis in the rural economy was a fertile breeding ground for his party, which had produced its own newspaper highlighting country concerns.

However Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality chairman Albert Grant said attempts by the BNP to establish itself in the county had failed.

"There is no meaningful support for them in Suffolk, they have not established themselves here at all," he said.

"There have been incidents of racist leaflets being shoved through doors but they have been isolated, and usually have other underlying reasons behind them.

"Fortunately race relations in Suffolk have not been that bad and we are working hard to ensure that remains the case," Mr Grant said.

Mr Griffin first hit the headlines in the early 1980s when there were allegations that his home at Huntingfield had been visited by Italian Neo-Fascists during training weekends for far-right activists.

Since then 44-year-old Mr Griffin has risen to the top of the BNP and is credited with giving the organisation a more "media-friendly" image.

Over the last two years this has resulted in it winning council seats in the north of England – especially in Burnley where it now has 10 councillors.

N What do you think? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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