BNP adverts in Archant newspapers
Our local paper, the Hackney Gazette, is owned by newspaper group Archant.
Across London Archant, which owns over 20 titles, seems to have agreed to run adverts from the BNP.
I've sent the email below to Archant's CEO and Chairman:
"Dear Mr Jewson and Mr Fry,
I am writing as ward councillor in the London Borough of Hackney to express my shock and concern at reports that Archant are planning to allow the BNP to advertise in the Hackney Gazette.
Hackney is a borough with excellent race relations and community cohesion and although there was a National Front presence in the 1970s there has been no local far right presence in recent years.
We are one of the most multi-cultural boroughs in London and the Gazette's readership must reflect this. Many Gazette readers from ethnic minority groups - and others who value Hackney's ethnic diversity - will be horrified to open their local paper and see an advert from a far right party.
The BNP is not just another party that has an equal entitlement to advertise. The race hatred it peddles has been directly linked to increased violence and abuse against people from ethnic minority groups in areas where it is active. The nature of the BNP's ideology and tactics have been extensively catalogued over the years - key members have convictions for race-related behaviour and criminal violence, and a history of promotion of neo-Nazi concepts such as holocaust denial, which is particularly offensive in a borough with a large Jewish population.
I have always been pleased that the Gazette has a policy of being politically neutral, but this should not extend to allowing a fascist party to have a platform through advertising - I am sure that the Gazette would subscribe to certain core beliefs such as support for democracy and opposition to racism that allowing the BNP to advertise would contradict.
I do hope you will reconsider your decision to take their advert.
Cllr Luke Akehurst
Chatham Ward (Labour)"