POLITICAL leaders from all parties have united to tell the BNP they are not wanted in Colchester.

Conservative Kevin Bentley, Lib Dem Martin Hunt, High Woods Independent Gerard Oxford, and Labour’s Tim Young issued a joint statement condemning the “racist” party.

The mainstream leaders say they regret the intrusion into the political life of Colchester by the BNP.

The statement, issued ahead of county council polls on June 4, said: “Although we have our political differences, we all share a common bond to act in the best interests of the borough and its residents, and will argue our case using democratic means. The BNP uses misinformation to sow intolerance and spread messages that cause fear, hatred and division.

“They have proved themselves to be racist by openly admitting they do not allow people from non-white ethnic minorities to join. We are disturbed they have chosen to stand in every county council division in Essex, including Colchester, in the forthcoming elections, but we are relieved none of their candidates reside in our borough, which we see as a sign of their weakness and lack of support.

“We would urge all residents to use their votes in the forthcoming elections to vote for candidates who believe in democracy, freedom and liberty and to reject the racist policies of the BNP so they are discouraged from disfiguring the political scene in Colchester in the future.”

BNP north-east Essex spokesman, Jim Taylor, said: “I reject anything the council leaders say absolutely – they are just trying to restrict the democratic political process.”