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RACISM HIT BY TWO PRONGED ELECTION CHALLENGE

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Local election candidates are facing a two pronged challenge to keep racism out of local government. ...
Local election candidates are facing a two pronged challenge to keep racism out of local government.

Amid fears that the far right British National Party could gain ground in May's polls, the Commission for Racial Equality has issued guidelines aimed at encouraging candidates to defend free speech and race relations.

Meanwhile the policy group Greater London Action for Racial Equality is challenging local parties to spell out how their policies will uphold the rights of ethnic minorities.

The CRE election guidelines say candidates must reject all forms of racial violence and discrimination, must not publish or endorse any election material which will cause hostility or racial division, and must ensure that no dealings with the public could lead to racial hatred or prejudice.

'It is vital that at a time when racial incidents are on the rise across Europe the democratic political parties in Britain signal their commitment to conducting the forthcoming local elections in a way that acknowledges we are a multicultural society', said CRE chair Herman Ouseley.

Greater London Action for Racial Equality is asking local parties to explain how their policies will reduce racially motivated attacks, ensure fair access to housing, help voluntary groups working among ethnic minorities and tackle employment discrimination.

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