BNP meeting abandoned

Tempsford pub cancels forum after protests

A landlord called time on a British National Party meeting after anti-fascist websites leaked details over the internet.

Clare Jennings, whose father runs The Anchor in Tempsford, says the decision to cancel the meeting, which had been due to take place on Wednesday, December 12, was made after the pub started to receive harassing phone calls.

She said: "We're too busy running a business to get involved in this political thing. We've nipped it in the bud because of what's attached to it. We've had really ignorant horrible people ring up.

"The only thing that concerns me is that we're hoping that it doesn't do any harm to us. We're not trying to offend people in any way, we're not in any tiny little bit discriminatory. I hope we don't have any stigma."

The websites claimed local BNP organiser Phill Carter, who stood for election in Biggleswade this year, had booked the meeting under a false name.

A comment on the website read: "We find it extraordinary that Phill Carter should have to resort to these tactics in order to hold a simple branch meeting. It makes you wonder what they have to hide. All this goes to show that the BNP is very far from being a normal mainstream political party."

Miss Carter, 30, denied this, saying: "I never booked it under the name of British Heritage. I book on the name of the BNP and the landlord was aware of this. It's an awful shame because it's a fantastic venue and we do get on with the landlord."

She added: "We are not the awful people that the mainstream media makes us out to be. We have got absolutely nothing to hide."

But Miss Jennings said: "They booked it under the name British Heritage and they did describe themselves as a political group. They said they chat about politics and things and then later it all came out that it was part of the BNP.

"I don't think they tried to hide anything from us. They didn't lie, but they didn't walk in and say 'we're the BNP'."

Steve Blake an IT consultant, of Bury St Edmunds who previously ran the BNP website, was due to be the speaker.

The Guardian newspaper, which sent one of its reporters undercover with the party, has previously reported that in the 1980s, his company, Aurora Promotions, imported Nazi propaganda from the US.