A ROW has erupted after British National Party leader Nick Griffin filmed a political broadcast in a Hapton park.
The controversial figure was at Hapton Recreation Ground speaking to local BNP Coun. Sharon Wilkinson for a film which appeared on the party’s website.
But Hapton Parish Council has reacted angrily to the 20-minute video which it says goes against the authority’s strict non-political status.
Speaking at a parish council meeting, chairman Christine Pucket-Goulden said: “As far as the recreation ground is concerned, it belongs to the parish council.
“It is private land, it is non party-political and we cannot have any party-political things filmed on there.
“It is about the fact it was filmed on our land without our knowledge. We can get in trouble as we are a non-political council and in the Code of Conduct all our councillors must be absolutely non-political.
“A member of the public could take great offence the parish council lets a party political broadcast on there.”
The video shows Mr Griffin touring parts of Hapton with Coun. Wilkinson, who is a district and county councillor for the BNP, back in September.
However, it is a short clip filmed on the village’s recreation ground which has caused outcry.
But parish councillor Derek Dawson, who admitted filming the footage, said: “I can’t see the problem. I don’t think I’m doing anything different than in Labour leaflets.
“It was Nick Griffin our MEP and Sharon Wilkinson going through Hapton seeing bits of things Sharon has done. She has done a lot of things. It seems this parish council is being political.”
But the parish council said it would take the same tough stance with any party to defend the authority’s strict non-political status.
Parish councillor Harry Kayley added: “You should not have filmed it – it’s as simple as that. This place is a non-political place. If you want to film elsewhere then you can. But the recreation ground is private land. If you are going to be on this council you have got to stick to council rules and the council rules say it is non-political.
“That was a political party that filmed on the recreation ground.”
The parish council is waiting to hear back from Coun. Wilkinson before further action is taken.