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Residents vent anger at Stoke-on-Trent BNP leader over BBC show

Staffs Live | Tuesday, 13 November 2012 | Click here for original article


Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman

Stoke-on-Trent residents hit out at Stoke-on-Trent BNP leader Michael Coleman’s ‘racial slurs’ aired on a controversial BBC documentary.

The second episode of the three-part series, The Year The Town Hall Shrank, shadowed the BNP during their campaigning.

But local residents who watched the programme were enraged and offended by BNP leader Michael Coleman.

He is accused of insulting Islamic clothing and his fellow Stoke City councillors.

Margaret Nicholls, 42, a retail assistant said: “The BNP give Stoke a bad name and I’m glad Michael Coleman lost his seat.”

Mr Coleman, who refused to go on BBC Radio Stoke during the campaign, was heard to say that sitting across from the other council members made him feel “physically sick”.

Sanjeet Riddy, a Fenton taxi driver, slammed Mr Coleman’s reference to traditional Islamic clothes as “ninja outfits”.

He said: “I have been living in Fenton for over 20 years and I have never been so offended by anyone.

“I was shocked at his ignorance. He is supposed to be the head of a political party. People look up to him but he’s just a joke.”

The programme also showed local residents protesting against the BNP with a man interrupting one of their election events asking why he should vote for holocaust-deniers, racists, fascists, and Nazis.

Jake Billingham, a mechanic from Sneyd Green, said: “A lot of people in Stoke might turn to the BNP out of frustration, but I think after hearing Coleman’s racial slurs people will truly see them for what they are, a bunch of ignorant racists.”

Mr Coleman and other BNP officials declined to comment on the show when contacted by StaffsLive.

The BNP, which previously held five seats on Stoke City Council, once described the city as “the jewel in the crown” for their party.

But in May 2011, they failed to win a single seat, making it the first time in over a decade that Stoke City Council has no BNP councillors.

The final part of the documentary, which focuses on the effects of the £36 million cuts Stoke City Council are facing, will be aired this Thursday November 15 at 9pm.


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