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Daddy's girl

Bob Hayward | Sunday, 18 June 2006 Source: Birmingham Mail

A FATHER and his teenage daughter enjoy a happy night out together at a cabaret show in Birmingham.

The shy-looking girl in the pale blue dress is now controversial BNP councillor Sharon Ebanks.

The man looking over his shoulder is her dad, Radwell.

The photograph was taken at The Night Out Theatre Restaurant in Horsefair, Birmingham city centre, which has since closed.

At the time - when Sharon was in her mid-teens - she was happy to acknowledge her father, who died from cancer in 2003.

But since becoming an activist for the far-right BNP, she has disowned him by claiming he is not her father.

Last night, Sharon Ebanks's stepmother, Glenys Ebanks, who is pictured in the black dress, recalled the family night out.

She said: "It was a lovely evening.

"After the meal, the entertainer was Des O'Connor who was very good.

"I just can't believe she has turned out as she has. Not only is she an active member of a racist party when her own father was black, but she is against mixed marriages when she is a child of one.

"You only have to look at old family photographs to see they are father and daughter. Sharon has exactly Rad's nose and jawline."

Sharon Ebanks was the toast of the far-right party in May after she became its first Birmingham councillor following a bungled election.

But the single mum was hiding a secret from her past - her dad was black.

Ms Ebanks, 38, claims she is no racist, although she has spoken out against mixed-race marriages.

Glenys said: "I don't know how she has the nerve to be a member of the BNP and to hold these views when her own father was black.

"It is an insult to his memory to deny her background and to say such things about her own father.

"She can't be trusted to tell the truth."

Radwell Ebanks was born in St Elizabeth, Jamaica, and settled in West Bromwich after emigrating to Britain in 1958.

In 1963, he married Sharon's mother, Jean Waterfield, who is white. But the marriage quickly ended with their daughter being taken into care as a young child.

Council binman Mr Ebanks met divorcee Glenys while she was working in a betting shop in West Bromwich, and the couple were married in 1974.

The newlyweds set up home in a two-bedroomed flat in Walsall and took the young Sharon out of care to look after her.

Retired office worker Mrs Ebanks, now 75, said: "Rad, who had always voted Labour, was dismayed when he found out Sharon had joined the BNP.

"He couldn't understand why she had joined such a party when her own father was black.

"He never spoke to me in detail about exactly how he felt or what he said to Sharon. But he told a relative he had said to her: 'Do you think I am going to encourage you in a party which is against black people?'."

Mr Ebanks died in October 2003, 10 months after being diagnosed with cancer. He was 64 years-old.

Sharon was invited to his funeral but did not turn up.

"Everyone loved Rad," said her stepmother.

"There were more than 100 mourners of all races at his Caribbean funeral."

Sharon Ebanks denies that her father was Radwell Ebanks. "Most of the information you have is untrue," she told the Sunday Mercury last week.

"I will attempt to get you an interview with my mother, who will tell you who my father is and she should know."

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