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‘Anti-Muslim’ leaflets sent to Lancashire councillors

CAMPAIGN: Tony Bamber, BNP candidate and secretary of the Preston Pals

CAMPAIGN: Tony Bamber, BNP candidate and secretary of the Preston Pals

Councillors say they are appalled after receiving leaflets from a BNP activist asking them to support a campaign blaming Muslims for the heroin trade.

Tony Bamber has delivered letters and pamphlets to three South Ribble councillors.

The leaflet states it has been produced by the ‘Preston Pals’ in honour of the 7th Battalion of the North Lancashire Regiment, who fought at the Somme during the First World War, and held the same name.

Mr Bamber, 55, of Greenbank Street, Preston, is standing in next month’s Lancashire County Council elections as a member of the British National Party (BNP) in Burnley.

He was taken to court in 2010 accused of distributing leaflets designed to inflame religious hatred against Muslims, but was found not guilty.

Labour Coun Derek Forrest, who represents Leyland Central, said: “It really upsets me that this man cloaks himself in the memories of men who sacrificed themselves to put forward this racist trash.

“He is abusing the good will of the armed forces for his own devious means. I urge anyone who has received this to treat it with the contempt it deserves.”

Leyland Central councillor, Caleb Tomlinson, said: “This is full of loathing and hatred towards a religious group, and I do not want it being put through my door.”

Ali Amla, of Preston Faith Forum, reported the matter to the police. He said: “It’s very derogatory, very anti-Muslim.

“It was demanding that Muslims should be compensating communities for crimes against British people. It says they are a non-violent, non-racist group, but the intentions are very worrying for a Muslim.”

A spokesman for Mr Bamber said he stood by the leaflet and the words contained within it were ‘the truth’.

BNP spokesman Simon Darby said: “Tony is a very active campaigner, and for a very good reason.

“He is naturally spreading the message across Lancashire that there is more and more evidence to suggest that the deliberate spreading of heroin is an ethno-religious ploy to pose a risk to our population.

“Some might see that as being quite extreme, but it’s the truth.”

Lancashire Police said they were unable to take any action.

A police spokesman said: “We understand that some people may find the content of the leaflet disturbing or offensive.

“Lancashire Police takes the distribution of these leaflets very seriously and have previously investigated their content.

“An individual was charged and sent to crown court, however, after consideration, the court found that the content of the leaflets did not constitute an offence.

“As such no crime is being committed in the distribution of these leaflets.”

 

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