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BNP plans to fight 3 Medway council seats

THE British National Party is planning to put up at least three candidates in the Medway Council elections after experiencing what they said was massive growth and public interest.

The party has five likely candidates, but is hoping to get others to stand on Thursday, May 1. Members are planning their strategy at a series of meetings being held by invitation only.

They are considering whether to try to win one or more wards. The party admits there has been BNP activity in the Luton ward in recent weeks. The ward is to be altered in May as part of a Local Government Commission plan to cut the number of councillors from the present 80 to 55. The new ward will be called Luton and Wayfield.

BNP's local spokesman Lee Barnes confirmed they were discussing whether to make a bid for the three seats in the new ward. They are currently looking at Gillingham and Chatham before deciding which wards to tackle. They could also stand on the Hoo peninsula.

Mr Barnes said: "We have three definite candidates, two who are willing subject to completing a house move and about 10 who have said they are willing to stand."

He said it was part of a strategy to win European parliamentary seats in a year's time. The party needed at least seven per cent of the votes to win Euro seats.

"Because of the hoo-hah over asylum seekers in Sittingbourne, we expect lots of lefty groups from London and other areas to come here," he added.

"We are trying to normalise our position. We want to get into the communities and get to know people."

Bill Davis, the veteran Labour Wayfield councillor, said: "If anyone votes for them they should be pretty ashamed of themselves. We will fight them all the way."

Luton councillor Linda Robson, who is standing down in May, said: "It is a bit of a concern, but we think the electorate will judge it on local issues."

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