The left-wing pressure group, Unite Against Fascism (UAF), are expecting thousands of protesters to demonstrate at White City, London, in response to the invitation of the BNP leader’s to appear on the BBC political programme ‘Question Time’ on the 22nd October .
When questioned about the protests, BNP member of the London Assembly, Richard Barnbrook, called the anti-fascist protests part of the democratic process. “I am happy for the UAF to be there,” stated Mr. Barnbrook, “my only grievance with them is that if they find us so terrible, then I say they should stand at the next election.”
In response to Mr Barnbrook’s comments, Senan Mortell from UAF stated that the anti-fascist group had “no interest in running as a political organisation in an election,” reaffirming that “UAF only exists to oppose the rise of fascist parties, and deny them the political legitimacy which they crave.”
The UAF are furious with the BBC’s decision to offer Mr. Griffin a position on the panel of their flagship political programme. “The BBC is a publically funded body. By inviting Nick Griffin to take part in Question Time, they are legitimising fascism and racism,” Mr. Mortell said.
Conservative member of the London Assembly Mr. James Cleverly defended the BBC’s decision to invite Mr. Griffin onto Question Time. He said “For all his faults, Mr. Griffin is a democratically elected member of the European Parliament. I think he should be free to talk the rubbish that he talks, and we should be free to critique what he says. You can’t beat fascism by being fascist. The denial of free speech is a classic tool of fascism, and I don’t think we should go down that route.”
By Matt Priest and Nick Higgins