No BNP rally on the day of Stoke Pride
The British National Party will not be holding a rally in Stoke on Trent on the same day as the city’s Pride event.
Councillor Alby Walker, the BNP group leader on the city council, told PinkNews.co.uk that the change of plan had nothing to do with Pride.
He said that the BNP protest was linked to a court case involving the death of one of their activists.
Habib Khan was convicted of the manslaughter of his neighbour, BNP member Keith Brown.
The party intended to protest about the sentence Khan received but as sentencing has been postponed, so has the rally.
Mr Walker told PinkNews.co.uk that homophobic comments on the BNP website about Stoke Pride “do not represent the BNP’s position.”
He said there is “nothing in our manifesto” against gay people and that the party group of nine councillors on the city council are not opposed to the Pride march.
The report on Stoke Pride on the BNP website, written by the news team, says:
“Now the city has it’s second homosexual mayor, who happens also to be non white and who is supporting this disgusting “thrusting in our faces” of homosexuality, which I consider totally inappropriate.
“The battle for Britain sees the deck well and truly stacked against ordinary hard working indigenous Britons who no longer have a voice with which to raise legitimate concerns for disgusting,pointless and politically correct charades such as this.”
The directly-elected Mayor of Stoke, Mark Meredith, is white. He was listed as one of the most powerful gay people in British politics by PinkNews.co.uk last year.
Mr Walker said: “I don”t spend much time on the internet sites.
“It (homosexuality) is a personal matter, if someone thinks it’s right or wrong. I think what people do behind closed doors is up to them.”
Mr Walker said he does not think Pride marches achieve what he perceives to be their purpose.
“They are overtly ostentatious – they are about showing off. It turns the public away from it.”
Earlier this month BNP leader Nick Griffin visited the city on the first anniversary of Mr Brown’s death.
“Despite the manslaughter verdict we still regard Keith’s death as murder and we need to highlight how the police and criminal justice system fails to properly investigate such racially-motivated crime,” he told the Stoke Sentinel.
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He predicted that “large numbers of people from around the country” would attend the now postponed BNP rally.
The theme of Stoke’s Gay Pride is Clubbers Paradise. The event will be held on August 9th.
Angie Brown will be performing on the main stage during the day, along with a several drag acts. Scouse star Sonia will be singing in local gay bar, Pink, after 9pm.
Stoke Pride takes place on August 9th Hillcrest St, Hanley from 3pm to 9pm.
Local clubs The Club, Pink and the Three Tuns will open from 9pm until late to continue the festivities.