BNP withdraws candidate from Scottish seat

By Jessica Elgot and Stephanie Brickman, April 19, 2010
BNP candidate Gary Raikes has dropped out of the running for East Renfrewshire.

BNP candidate Gary Raikes has dropped out of the running for East Renfrewshire.

The BNP candidate for East Renfrewshire, which has the largest Jewish population in Scotland, has dropped out of the election race.

A spokesman for BNP Scotland confirmed that candidate Gary Raikes, who was standing against Labour MP Jim Murphy, the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Mr Raikes, who has lived in Scotland for 18 years, was a local instructor in the Army Cadet Force until 2007. He has not yet given a reason for his departure from the campaign.

BNP Scotland’s spokesman said that they had chosen to concentrate on candidates in Aberdeenshire and would not be fielding another candidate in East Renfrewshire.

The seat, which is located to the south west of Glasgow, has a significant Muslim and Jewish population.

Mr Murphy said he was delighted that the BNP had chosen to stop campaigning in the area. He said: "I am proud that local people have given the BNP a red card and they have been forced to leave after local people made it clear they would not stand for their abhorrent views. The BNP had only one aim to promote hatred.

"East Renfrewshire is a great place to live and bring up a family, we have really good relations between all of our faith communites including Christains, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. The BNP attempts to ruin that have been stopped in their tracks."

Philip Mendelsohn, President of the Glasgow Jewish Representative Council said: “I’m glad to hear that the BNP have withdrawn their candidate from the seat as it was clearly targeted at a constituency which has both a high Jewish and Muslim component. It was designed to be divisive in what is a very cohesive community.”

Last updated: 2:36pm, April 21 2010