The Conservative Party Chairman Francis Maude has called on the Liberal Democrats to prove their anti-racist credentials by sacking a local councillor who nominated a BNP member as a candidate for the May elections. He said:
It’s alarming that, of the three main political parties, the Liberal Democrats have the worst record in local elections of fielding candidates against the BNP. It is time that they woke up to the danger posed by this extremist party.
The Liberal Democrats have a poor record with regards to challenging BNP candidates. Conservatives are contesting 96.7 per cent of town hall seats against the BNP, with the Liberal Democrats giving the BNP a free run in 129 wards (18 per cent).
Councillor Steve Jones who has already resigned as group leader of the Liberal Democrats in Darlington said that ‘he has no sympathies for the policies of the BNP’. His party has issued a statement describing his actions as ‘an error of judgment’.