Fury over switch to BNP

A POLITICAL activist who helped uncover a financial scandal involving former Rotherham Council deputy leader Garvin Reed was today slammed after announcing she had joined the BNP.

Marlene Guest, who has stood as a LIberal Democrat and Independent candidate in local elections, now says she is considering standing for the racist BNP in May.

She has joined the party - which has already won seats in West Yorkshire - and says she may stand as a candidate under the BNP banner in either Thorpe Hesley or Kimberworth.

Mrs Guest's decision has already sent shockwaves through Rotherham which has a large Asian and black population - but which prides itself on having very little racial unrest.

Her decision has been bitterly criticised by local political leaders who say she has lost her way.

Rotherham Council leader, Roger Stone, said: "I'm sure Rotherham's electors will take the opportunity to make their views about candidates and their choice of party known on polling day."

And Coun Shaukat Ali, a leading campaigner for racial harmony in the town, said: "We live in a democratic world and if she wants to stand for the BNP I have no objection.

"But it is definitely going to harm the good race relations we have. Should this happen we shall have to meet the problems and deal with them."

But the outspoken mother-of-five - who has been a critic of Britain's policy on asylum seekers - defended her decision and said: "I am ready to speak out to preserve and protect the country I love - its cultures, traditions and history.

"I say what many people, because of political correctness and human rights pressure, are afraid to say.

"When anybody mentions the BNP people link it with racism, but I am not a racist and the party's policies are much wider than that. People should read their manifesto before they condemn.

"I have joined the BNP because I love this country, for which members of my family have died. I do not want to join the EU. I don't want to scrap the pound for the euro, and I want to keep British fishing waters for British fishermen."

Tory councillor Tony Mannion said that while Mrs Guest had the best interests of Rotherham at heart she sometimes "got it wrong".

But he added: "Labour must share some of the responsibility because they have stifled debate on asylum seekers and when that happens you get extreme right wing parties rising up."