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Hampstead leaders bite back over BNP leader's slur

PUBLISHED: 10:10 16 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:18 07 September 2010

Tan Parsons COMMUNITY leaders have lashed out against British National Party leader Nick Griffin after he suggested putting immigrants in Hampstead to see how the liberal elite liked it. The comments were made in an interview on the Andrew Marr Show las

Tan Parsons

COMMUNITY leaders have lashed out against British National Party leader Nick Griffin after he suggested putting immigrants in Hampstead to see how the "liberal elite" liked it.

The comments were made in an interview on the Andrew Marr Show last Sunday when the BBC One show host asked him what should be done about people who want to come to Britain.

Mr Griffin said: "If we're going to allow them to come, for a start, I'd say, 'Well, let's start sticking them in Hampstead in the places where the liberal elite live instead of poor places like Barking and Barnsley and Manchester and see how you people like it."

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, from the New North London Synagogue, said that the tone of Mr Griffin's comments was profoundly racist. He said: "Britain, including places like Hampstead and Manchester, is built on many waves of immigrants to this country - Protestant Huguenots, Irish, Jewish, Asian and African. Overall, the evidence is that these groups have made a profoundly positive contribution to the country they have arrived in."

Heath and Hampstead Society chairman Tony Hillier said: "Hampstead is a very welcoming environment. We all come from somewhere. I'm an immigrant from Finchley Central and my wife is an immigrant from Norway, and that's just fine."

Hampstead's Lib Dem councillor Linda Chung said that Mr Griffin's comments made her blood boil. She said: "I don't know what he's trying to say. Hampstead is a culturally and economically diverse community. We have several social housing areas provided by the council, including Wells House, Wells Court, Henderson Court and others.

"I know Barnsley and I don't know why he mentioned Hampstead in comparison.

"We want this to be an equal society where people have equal life and work opportunities. Hampstead is one of the most socially aware societies there are - shown by the different mix of people who live here."

Rather than backtracking on Mr Griffin's inflammatory comments, BNP press officer Simon Darby went further by preaching the party's anti-immigrant sentiments. He said how "would they like it if 10,000 Muslims moved into the area".

He said: "I suppose these people would have no objection to Hampstead becoming Islamified - if they had Muslim fundamentalists living next door.

"It all depends what kind of immigrants we are dealing with. If all of a sudden there were plans to turn Hampstead into east London, I'm sure it wouldn't go down very well. Millions of white Londoners have moved out of the capital because of what's happened.

"In inner city London, white kids make up just 17 per cent of the population."

He added that Cllr Chung had been hypnotised by her own "spiel" and was effectively celebrating the replacement of indigenous white people in London.


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