East Belfast Alliance MLA Naomi Long has expressed her concerns at the likely participation of the BNP in the next Council Elections. She expressed confidence that the party, which has extreme right-wing views and wants to throw all blacks and Asians out of Britain, would fare poorly at the polls and stated her belief that more needed to be done to tackle racism in Northern Ireland.
Cllr Long said:
“I believe that anyone who wants to see the development of a truly inclusive society in Northern Ireland will be appalled that the BNP want to field candidates here. The only consolation is that even if they do stand, I have no doubt that their negative agenda will be rejected.
“I take great exception to their leader’s comments about immigration, which I believe are utterly disgraceful, and as an East Belfast representative I am particularly disappointed that he chose to come to here to make them. The reality is that immigration enriches our society and many of our key services could not be provided without it.
“Unlike some other parties, we will not be found wanting when a firm stand is needed to tackle racism in our community. Alliance is proud to support the development of a society in which everyone is free to live and work without threat or intimidation regardless of their religion, race or gender.
“We successfully led the campaign to have Hate Crime Legislation introduced in Northern Ireland, which will result in those committing crimes with a racist motive receiving stiffer sentences. Locally, I have campaigned vigoursly against the erection of flags with racist connotations, as well as against a sticker campaign by the White Nationalist Party in parts of East Belfast.”