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The BPP, NF and BNP are legally constituted and officially registered political parties and have every right to stand in elections in this country. How can this 'safer and stronger communities panel seriously compare British Nationalist parties with Muslim extremists convicted of terrorist offences?

Keeping the extremists out: Plan to stop this happening again

MORE must be done to prevent violent extremism in Calderdale, councillors have been told.

In the wake of several far-right group protests and the massacre in Norway, a report by the safer and stronger communities panel has warned the district is vulnerable to a range of extreme groups.

The plan to increase Calderdale’s defences against extremism comes after the council’s budget for preventing extremism has been slashed from £410,000 last year to nothing this year.

So far this year, the English Defence League has descended on Halifax three times, leading to 22 arrests for various offences including possessing an offensive weapon and being drunk and disorderly.

In 2007, two men from Halifax with extreme Islamic beliefs were convicted under the Terrorism Act.

Rizwan Ditta, of Royd Terrace, and Bilal Mohammed, of Thurm Hall Close, were arrested in dawn raids by anti-terrorist offices from the Metropolitan Police supported by officers from West Yorkshire.

Bilal was sentenced to two years in prison and Ditta to four years after admitting possessing material likely to be useful to terrorists.

The panel’s report also says The British People’s Party and National Front contested town council elections in Todmorden and BNP candidates stood in number of wards across the district in elections this year.

It mentions far-right influences from across the county border in Lancashire and names Queensbury, Todmorden and Boothtown as hotspots.

“Calderdale is vulnerable to a range of extremist elements from a mixture of islamist, right wing and environmental groups,” according to the council’s safer and stronger communities director Robin Tuddenham.

“Although Calderdale is not identified as a priority area, the Counter Terrorism Local Profile suggests there are no grounds for complacency.”

Mr Tuddenham has advised councillors to help tackle extremist ideologies by making sure that moderate voices are heard.

Tough action must be taken to exclude foreign hate preachers and to tackle terrorist use of the internet for radicalisation.

“We can continue to build better relations between different communities through meaningful community involvement and engagement to shape neighbourhoods and public services, and narrowing the gap in the quality of life for individual and communities.”

l How do you think Halifax can keep the extremists out? E-mail us: yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk


Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2011 8:11 PM
Subject: Re: Keeping the extremists out: Plan to stop this happening again

Dear Sir/Madam,

Regarding the article in tonight's Courier, "Keeping the extremists out: Plan to stop this happening again."

As the leader of the British People's Party, I feel I must protest at the way that Calderdale Council's so-called "safer and stronger communities panel" can even mention my party and other British Nationalist parties in the same report that should be aimed at terrorist threats to the Calderdale area.

The BPP, NF and BNP are legally constituted and officially registered political parties and have every right to stand in elections in this country. We love this country and we want to put our people first. How does that make us 'extreme'? How can this 'panel' compare legal British Nationalist parties with extremists convicted of terrorist offences?

There is definitely a political bias in this report's findings and because of that it should be viewed with the contempt it deserves by the ordinary people of the area.
Thankfully, the taxpayers of Calderdale are no longer paying for this pointless 'crusade': £410,000 spent on the council's 'defences against extremism' last year? That would have paid for a few more hospital beds and cut a few NHS waiting lists, instead of being wasted on this pointless project.

I cannot speak for the other parties libeled in this report but I can tell you this: The British People's Party is here to stay in Calderdale and we will be standing again in Todmorden in 2012 as a REAL alternative to the old parties and their policies of betrayal.

We will not go away, we are here to stay and we will not be silenced!

Kevin Watmough
Leader, British People's Party

© 2011 British People's Party, BM Box 5581, London WC1N 3XX