Morley revealed as hotbed for BNP

POLITICIANS in Morley have reacted with dismay after it was revealed the town has the highest British National Party membership in the country.

Analysis of a leaked BNP membership list has revealed that the Morley and Rothwell constituency has 90 members of the far right party.

This is the highest number out of the 646 parliamentary seats in the UK.

The next highest membership was found in Charnwood, Leicestershire, where there are 82 members.

Morley's town mayor, Morley Borough Independent councillor Terry Grayshon, today said: "I am obviously disappointed that the constituency of Morley and Rothwell would harbour so many paid up members of the BNP.

"They are divisive and are not welcome in our community in Morley."

The BNP took its first-ever seat on Leeds City Council in 2006 when Christopher Beverley won Morley South from the Morley Borough Independents.

There are fears that a painful recession will only further increase the party's support before the next general election.

The current Morley and Rothwell constituency has been redrawn and will be known as Morley and Outwood at the next election.

It will be contested by Schools Secretary Ed Balls, whose Normanton seat is being abolished in boundary changes.

Analysis carried out by the YEP after this year's local election results showed that Labour came a dismal fourth across the five wards in the new seat, trailing the BNP.

In the contest held in the Morley South ward, the BNP doubled Labour's vote.

The YEP was yesterday told of concerns that the BNP will increasingly target the Ardsley area.

Labour topped the poll in the Ardsley and Robin Hood ward in May – but only by a wafer-thin margin of 11 votes over the BNP.

Bob Gettings, a Morley Borough Independent councillor and the former deputy head at Bruntcliffe High School, said: "I am fearful of how prejudiced people can be.

"As an ex-teacher, this tells me it is about education. But it's more the education of adults than children.

"The people of Morley were horrified when we returned a BNP councillor."

He is worried how the people of Morley will now be viewed by the rest of the country.

"Morley is like any other working area. It is full of wonderful people but it's the BNP activists at the moment who are playing up to fears – and that gains them popularity."

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