BNP campaigns against ‘Islamification’ of Dalton-in-Furness

Ashburner BNPTwo parties are going head to head in a town council by-election. Labour and the British National Party are to fight for a seat on Dalton Town Council. Dan Martin, for Labour, and Mike Ashburner, Furness and South Lakeland BNP organiser, were the only two nominations received by last Friday’s closing date. The by-election is set to take place on December 10.

Mr Ashburner, from Barrow, who admitted he has no links with Dalton, said it was the BNP’s policy to go for any vacancies that come up. He denied the party was out to cause trouble. Mr Ashburner said:

“My main aims are to tackle anti-social behaviour and clean up the streets. I noticed walking around just how much rubbish there was. My other main problem I aim to tackle is the Islamification of Dalton. There are proposals to build a mosque in the area and they are currently looking for plots. I am going to make sure there is not a mosque built in Dalton.”

Cumbria County Council spokesman Gareth Cosslett said the council knows of no current plans to build a new place of worship in Dalton. He said:

“Nothing is being built locally. The only thing that happens every Friday afternoon is one room in the Multicultural Centre in Barrow is used by Muslims as a prayer room. The rest of the week it’s used to teach English and a variety of other things. The whole point of the centre is to connect people and help them with social issues.

“The county council isn’t aware of anyone wanting to build a mosque in Dalton or anywhere nearby – but we’re not the planning authority. Our view would be that if they did, they would have as much right to build it as anyone would to build a church.”

North-West Evening Mail, 26 November 2009