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HOME OFFICE INVESTIGATES BNP 'FICTITIOUS CANDIDATES' CLAIM

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The home office is to investigate claims that the extreme right-wing British National Party has put up fictitious c...
The home office is to investigate claims that the extreme right-wing British National Party has put up fictitious candidates in the European elections in order to qualify for television broadcasts, reported The Sunday Telegraph (p7).

The alleged ruse came to light after Frank Cook, Labour MP for Stockton North, presented a dossier to home secretary Jack Straw claiming there is 'no proof' that three BNP candidates for the Nort-East region exist. In an early day motion in the commons Mr Cook

also said the party had filed false addresses on the nomination papers of the three men. He said in the motion: '...The BNP seems determined to engage in this ploy deliberately in order to secure the considerable benefits of the Reprentation of the People Act in the form of guaranteed broadcasting time on radio and television and free postal deliveries'.

The home office has promised to examine the case and consider tightening the law on nominations. Once nominations close, there is only one hour for objections to be received. After that, nothing can be done until the election is over when the candidates or the result

can be challenged in court.

Putting up a full slate of candidates was vital to the BNP in the Euro elections because the rules on the allocation of party election broadcasts were changed this year. It was decided that a party would have to stand in every seat in England to qualify for a slot - and the same rules were applied in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. A party election broadcast was televised two weeks ago featuring BNP party leader John Tyndall outside the houses of parliament and the Cenotaph.

The BNP was unavailable for comment over the weekend.

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