UKIP comes out fighting over prejudice claims

The English Defence League hosted a national demonstration in Dewsbury
The English Defence League hosted a national demonstration in Dewsbury

ACTIVISTS are planning a high-profile campaign to ensure the scourge of racism is defeated in Wigan.

Campaigners from Hope not Hate met in Pemberton to put together an action plan for a year of events designed to combat any extreme right-wing politics and racist conflict.

The meeting, which was also attended by councillors and politicians, agreed to bring a national Hope not Hate campaign.

The campaign will be aimed at trying to oppose the use of racist propaganda in next year’s European and local elections.

This is in the wake of several members of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) being criticised heavily for electioneering tactics earlier this year.

Fears of increases in hatred and prejudice have also been stoked by the aftermath to the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in London.

This has included violent demonstrations co-ordinated by the far right English Defence League (EDL).

Matt Hanley, North West co-ordinator for Hope not Hate, said: “We’re calling for a pre-emptive community response against the latent and sometimes overt racism we have seen in UKIP.

“They have been using immigration and Islamophobia in their electioneering, and some of their leaflets have been things that even the BNP would never have dared to publish.

“We had a broadly positive meeting in Wigan, and there was an overwhelming feeling we should do something.

“And this was because the political power of right-wing parties is on the rise.”

Hope not Hate is no stranger to Wigan, having organised a campaign against the British National Party candidate in the recent Pemberton by-election.