The Lord Mayor of Bradford has warned the only motive of the far-right activists who tried to confront him at his home is to cause “fear and distress” across the district.
Councillor Khadim Hussain confirmed yesterday that members of Britain First, who are led by former BNP councillor Paul Golding, visited his house in Keighley last Saturday and entered it without permission.
Although he was not there at the time, Coun Hussain said it had been a “distressing” experience for his daughters, who were forced to tell the men, who he said were “aggressive, but not abusive”, to leave.
Members of the far-right group also visited a number of mosques in Bradford confronting worshippers – actions which have drawn widespread condemnation from cross-party leaders at Bradford Council.
The Lord Mayor said: “All right-thinking Bradfordians will reject Britain First’s deliberate and provocative attempt to try to create division and hatred.
“Their only motive is to cause fear in the community, but we have shown tremendous resilience in Bradford over the years.”
Detective Chief Inspector Tony Nicholson confirmed that a small group of people had called at an address in Drake Street, Keighley, at about 3.30pm on Saturday, adding that an investigation into the activities of the group remained ongoing.
Bradford West MP George Galloway (Respect) said he had written to the Home Secretary Theresa May to criticise the lack of Home Office response to the actions of Britain First members who claimed to have distributed British Army Bibles and anti-grooming leaflets to a number of mosques in Bradford.
Speaking after visiting some of the mosques that were targeted, Mr Galloway said: “It is unconscionable that there has not been a word of condemnation or sympathy from the Home Secretary and her department.
“Theresa May should have been on the first train to Bradford trailing officials and reassuring the Muslim community that not only would the perpetrators be punished, but that she would ensure that an outrage like this never occurs again.”
Mr Galloway has also argued that the extremity of the group’s views should see them banned from the political process.
“Britain First has been given status as a political party and is standing candidates in council and European elections, rather than being proscribed for what it is, a gang of fanatics,” he said.
“So I am calling on her to consider banning them.”
A Home Office spokesman said: “The Government takes hate crime and extremism of all kinds very seriously.
“No-one should live in fear because of their faith, and everyone in this country has the right to practice their faith without fear of violence, intimidation or harassment. Anyone who feels they have been the victim of a hate crime should contact the police.”