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

| November 13, 2012 | 5 Comments
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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Category: News

  • David Jones

    “Stoke-on-Trent residents hit out..” – how many? All of them or just a tiny few? And what are their motives – political perhaps? A typical biased report creating a false impression.

    • Jacqueline Wallace

      I doubt the respondents were motivated by political will, given one was a mechanic and the other was a taxi driver, chances are they not potential political candidates.

      This is an interesting article and it’s good to see Staffs live doing something controversial as opposed to sticking with safe and (sorry) mundane news

  • The Truth

    Or it could just be that the report is reflective of all of those with more than the odd brain cell to rub together.

    If the BNP’s viewpoint was representative of the majority of people in this area then they’d be in control of the council – but even the people of Stoke-on-Trent saw through their paper-thin policies and ridiculously outdated point of view.

  • Ben Ross

    I think this article points toward the change in Stoke, I think the fact the BNP have lost all of their seats is representative of our town’s attitudes towards them. I have seen the BBC show this article is covering and this piece doesn’t tell you anything you can’t go and watch for yourself. Im not surprised that they refused to comment though, as whenever they are exposed for saying distasteful things they are quick to go into hiding, and that’s not just Stoke’s BNP but the BNP in general.

  • sandra evans

    considering that the population of stoke is consisting of at least 10% of south asians, black and mixed race ethnicity;which could make a huge difference in votes.

    I am not surprised that the BNP party didnt get a single seat, they got what was coming to them.Any form of racial comment is not acceptabple.

    regardless of it being 4 people or a “tiny few”, it still matters…