The Conservative candidate for Mayor of London has slammed the British National Party after they told their supporters to choose him as their second preference candidate on May 1st.
“I utterly and unreservedly condemn the BNP and have no desire whatsoever to receive a single second preference vote from a BNP supporter,” said Mr Johnson.
“I hope as many Londoners as possible turn out on May 1st to prevent the election of a BNP candidate.
“I believe my messages to make the streets safer, improve public transport, protect open spaces and deliver value for money will resonate with voters generally and make them realise they can vote for change in these elections.”
Mr Johnson, who is leading incumbent Mayor and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone in the polls, has been criticised by prominent black Londoners over comments he made as a journalist.
References to “smiling piccaninnies” in some of his columns have been used as evidence of his unfitness to lead multicultural London.
Doreen Lawrence, mother of murdered teenager Stephen, has condemned his candidacy.
The BNP called for a second preference vote for Boris Johnson in the election for London Mayor.
“In this race, the Tory clown Johnson is a lesser evil than the Marxist crank Livingstone, so replacing the latter with the former would, on balance, be an improvement for the majority of Londoners,” the party said in a statement on their website.
“Even if Johnson condemns the BNP a second choice vote for him gives you the chance to vote BNP as your first preference and still vote to get Livingstone out of office.”
Mr Livingstone’s campaign said:
“Two parties have now called for a second preference vote in London’s Mayoral election.
“I am proud that the Green Party’s Sian Berry has called for a second preference vote for me.
“That the BNP have called for a second preference vote to the Tory against me is no surprise.
“I hate and despise everything the BNP stand for as against every value of London as a great multi-ethnic tolerant and diverse city.”
In the 2004 election for Mayor of London the BNP came sixth, marginally ahead of the Green party, with 58,405 first preference votes (3.0%) and 70,736 second preferences.
The Greens won 57,331 or 2.9% of first preferences but got 208,686 second-preference votes.
In the election to be held on May 1st, second preference votes are likely to decide who will win.
Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London, told PinkNews.co.uk:
“The BNP obviously recognise Boris’ reputation for causing offence and creating division, which is why they are encouraging their voters to back him.
“I think the damaging effect on Boris first preferences will far outweigh any benefit from any second preference votes from the BNP.”
The BNP candidate for Mayor of London, Richard Barnbrook, was ridiculed in 2006 when the Evening Standard newspaper publicised a copy of a film produced and directed by him described as “Marxist gay cinema.”
Mr Barnbrook is the London co-ordinator of the BNP, which has promised to remove homosexuality from society, deeming it “wrong and unhealthy for any community.”
The film, HMS Discovery, A Love Story, contains scenes of men undressing and touching each other, coupled with nudity and sexual activities.
Mr Barnbrook, who won one of the 11 BNP seats in Barking and Dagenham local elections in 2006, told the Evening Standard:
“It was an art film, not a bloody porn film.
“The only nudity in it is a couple of guys running in a river.
“This was done when I was a student. It was part of my extra education, part of my studies and that was it.
“Anything to do with my past politics or my past work, I am not interested in commenting on.”
The BNP has previously told PinkNews.co.uk that homosexuality should not be promoted as equal to a straight lifestyle.
“The word gay means happy, we have no problem with being happy,” a spokesman said.
“Some unfortunate people suffer from homosexuality so we will just have to tolerate them.
“If I was one I would be ashamed and would remain celibate.”
Five candidates for Mayor have confirmed they will attend a hustings organised by gay equality organisation Stonewall.
Incumbent Mayor and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone, Conservative Boris Johnson, Lib Dem Brian Paddick, Ms Berry and Respect – The Left list candidate Lindsey German will all speak and answer questions at the event at BFI Southbank on Saturday 19th April.
PinkNews.co.uk is proud to be Stonewall’s media partner for the hustings, which will be held at the between 11am and 12.30pm.
The event is open to everyone, but in order to ensure a seat you must register here.
Full list of candidates for Mayor of London:
British National Party
UK Independence Party
Christian Peoples Alliance and Christian Party
The Left List
The Stonewall hustings will be the last before Londoners go to the polls on May 1st.