and immigration, politicians of all major parties and none have united in a
call for the local elections in June to be free from racist and religious
The political groups represented through the Local Government Association
have pledged to do what they can to keep hatred out of local politics.
Speaking on behalf of the leaders of all the political groups at the LGA,
Jeremy Beecham, LGA chair said: 'The only intolerance we should see this
summer is that towards individuals or groups who seek to hijack the
electoral process for their own extremist aims.
'Democracy relies on free speech, which must be protected. But it also
relies on giving equal value to every member of society.
'No-one should be allowed to exploit local election campaigns to incite
hatred against people just because of the colour of their skin, their
religion or national origin. Democrats must be strong and united against
'We hope that the police will uphold our tradition of election campaigns
characterized by tolerance, debate, discussion, and understanding; by using
their powers, such as to stop incitement to racial hatred, against
extremists of all kinds.
'For our part, will do everything we can to ensure that when we campaign, a
clear distinction is drawn between legitimate policy differences, especially
sensitive policy areas such as immigration, and anything that threatens
everyone's right to be treated equally with respect.'