15 April 2009

BNP by-election campaigner arrested over 'racist attack'

Shirlene Tobin with one of the BNP leaflets
A frightened mum-of-two has been left too scared to leave her home after she was allegedly called a ‘nigger’ by a British National Party (BNP) canvasser during a racist tirade in front of her five year old son.

Charleen Tobin, of St Margaret’s Road, Wanstead, has refused to leave her house since the incident - on Tuesday evening - during which she alleges the female BNP activist told her to ‘come to me because I don’t come to niggers’ when she tried to hand back a political leaflet that was posted through her front door.

The 43 year-old - who works as a nurse at Whipps Cross University Hospital - called the police immediately after the alleged attack at about 7.30pm - which she said has left her fearing for her family’s safety.

She said: “I couldn’t believe what this woman said to me in the middle of the street in front of my son. I walked after her to try and give the leaflet back but got a load of racist abuse. She told me to run to her because ‘niggers should be used to running.’ “This is the first time I’ve suffered racist abuse like this. I moved to Wanstead from Stratford because it has a special village community character, and then this happens.

“My neighbour has been brilliant and supported me, but I have been unable to leave the house since this happened. I’m worried about what might happen to me and my children. My husband is Irish, and black and Irish people in our parents generation suffered abuse like this, but I didn’t think this would happen to me today, in a place like Wanstead. My son is on his Easter holidays from school, and we were going to go out and look at the bluebells in the park, but I don’t feel safe to do that now.”

John Evans - who is standing as the BNP candidate in the upcoming Wanstead ward by-election - played down Mrs Tobin’s claims. He said: “I am aware of this incident but knowing the BNP members in this area as I do I am sure none of them would have done this. As our leader Nick Griffin has made clear - anyone found bringing the name of the British National Party into disrepute will be expelled with immediate effect.”

This is Local London

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