RELIGIOUS groups are urging by-election voters in the Barnsley Central constituency to make sure they go to the polls today – to prevent the BNP getting a high share of the vote.
The far-right party tends to perform well in elections where there is a low turnout.
A joint letter has been signed by South Yorkshire leaders of different faiths, including Bishop of Sheffield Dr Steven Croft, Roman Catholic Bishop of Hallam John Rawsthorne, Christians Together in Barnsley, and representatives of Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims.
It says: “We are deeply concerned at the activity of racist and fascist groups, which use people’s fears to stir up race hate.
“We believe a high turnout will help prevent candidates on extremist platforms being elected in our town.
“So we urge the overwhelming majority to turn out and vote, and give a clear signal that messages of race hatred and division are not welcome here.”
n See tomorrow’s Star for the results of the by-election.