Police candidate monitoring BNP

Elections to publicly appoint a police commissioner for the first time could turn into a gritty political battle after it emerged the British National Party (BNP) is planning to stand a candidate in Sussex.

Paul Richards, who is seeking the Labour nomination for the newly-created job, said if the far right party’s candidate was elected, it would be a disaster for community relations.

He warned residents to make sure they voted in the elections on November 15 to stop the BNP succeeding.

Mr Richards, an adviser to the last Labour government on community relations and counter-terrorism, has been monitoring the party’s websites in the county.

It is believed they plan to start campaigning on the streets of Emsworth and distributing leaflets.

“It is now clear the BNP is fundraising and organising to stand a candidate for police commissioner in Sussex,” he said.

“As a Labour Party candidate, I will stand against the BNP and argue for fairness and tolerance. But it will be down to the voters to turn out on election day to stop the BNP being elected.”

Each candidate requires 100 signatures, and a deposit of £5,000 to stand for the new posts, which replace the now-defunct police authorities. The police commissioners will have wide-ranging powers, including setting budgets.