Islamophobia Watch draws our attention to a report in Luton Today claiming a senior figure in the English Defence League, Kevin Carroll, also the co-vice chair of the right wing British Freedom Party, is to stand in the elections for Police and Crime Commissioner in Bedfordshire this November. Carroll has a criminal record for an offence committed in 2009 when he hurled abuse at Muslims.
From Luton Today:
“An English Defence League leader has been announced as a candidate in the race to become police and crime commissioner for Bedfordshire.
“Kevin Carroll, who lives in Farley Hill, says he will end “political correctness” and “two-tier policing” in Bedfordshire if he is voted in.
“The English Defence League is asking its members for donations to help raise the deposit of £5,000 needed to field a candidate. So far £533 has been raised.
“In 2009 Mr Carroll was convicted of a public order offence for hurling abuse at Muslims protestors at the Poachers’ homecoming parade through Luton. He subsequently lost an appeal against the conviction.
A Labour candidate for the role of PCC in Bedfordshire, Olly Martins commented quite rightly on the news of Carroll standing that, “The EDL thugs are about the least appropriate people to run for police commissioner,”
“these fascists shall not succeed and in November I have no doubt that their nasty and divisive views will be consigned to the dustbin of political history.''
Bedfordshire, and the town of Luton specifically has been at the ‘heart’ of the EDL’s campaign against the ‘Islamisation’ of the UK, having been formed in 2009 following a protest against the Anglican Regiment returning parade by local fringe activists. The activities of the EDL and those of the fringe Muslim groups against whom the EDL claim to work have been documented on a Channel 4 production called Proud and Prejudiced, as well as in a BBC documentary on the investigations of local Stacey Dooley, called My Hometown Fanatics.
Luton has also been the target of several Islamophobic hate crimes including an arson attack on a mosque this April, a vandal attack on a mosque by EDL supporters and the vandalising of homes in an area where many Asians live following a protest by the EDL. Following the EDL’s most recent protest in Luton in May, the leader of local Council, Hazel Simmons, expressed her dismay at the EDL’s decision to protest, which drew counter protests, arguing that “what happened in town today does not represent the real Luton.
“The Luton I know is a town where people get along well together, celebrate our diversity and work together to overcome challenges."
The elections in November will mark the first time that the post of PCC is being elected in Bedfordshire and in 41 other constabularies in the UK. The future PCCs will make and influence key decisions on policing by the local police force including the appointment of chief constables and decisions on budgets. You can find out more about the PCC elections on ENGAGE’s dedicated website, www.getoutandvote.info.
|< Prev||Next >|