Two BNP members arrested over election leaflet in Cumbria

The Guardian reports legal trouble for the BNP over one of its election leaflets in Cumbria:

Two activists from the far-right British National Party (BNP) in Cumbria have been arrested on suspicion of stirring up racial hatred over an election leaflet that apparently equated Polish people with monkeys.

The leaflet claimed Polish people were paid to deliver Labour election literature in the local council elections in May, and included a picture of a monkey delivering Labour propaganda as well as the slogan: “Labour has given the Poles our kids’ houses.”

At the time Barbara Cannon, the Labour agent in Allerdale, said the leaflet appeared to contravene the Public Order Act, which prohibits publication of threatening, abusive or insulting material likely to stir racial hatred…

The BNP denied the leaflets had any racist connotations. “The leaflets, distributed in May this year, were in response to our activists on the streets of Maryport coming upon bands of Polish leafleters; these groups were firstly distributing Labour election leaflets in the wrong ward, and then later were seen delivering ‘Don’t Forget to Vote Today’ leaflets about a week early!” the party said on its website.

“Our reaction to Labour’s error was to print the leaflet over which we believe that Dawn and Clive have been arrested, saying that ‘if you pay peanuts, you’ll get monkeys’. We of course know that this is a good old English saying, but it would seem that someone is trying to twist our words and make out that we were calling the Polish monkeys. Which is utterly ridiculous and untrue, of course.”

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