Ex-BNP candidate faces religious hatred charge

A former British National Party election candidate was charged yesterday in connection with the distribution of leaflets which alleged Muslims were responsible for the heroin trade.

Anthony Bamber, 53, of Greenbank Street, Preston, Lancashire, is

accused of incitement to commit religious hatred, police said.

The leaflet was distributed in Burnley and reportedly circulated in other parts of Lancashire, Cumbria and Yorkshire.

It urged people to "heap condemnation" on Muslims and said it was time to "apologise" over its claims they were responsible for 95 per cent of the world's heroin trade.

A photograph of Rachel Whitear, 21, who was found dead at her flat in Exmouth, Devon, in May 2000, holding a syringe, accompanied the literature.

A Lancashire Police spokeswoman said: "Following advice from the Crown Prosecution Service a 53-year-old man from Preston has been charged in connection with an investigation into the distribution of leaflets in Lancashire which claim Muslims are responsible for the heroin trade."

Bamber, who stood for the BNP at local elections in Preston in 2006, will appear at Preston Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Three other men, all from East Lancashire, arrested as part of the investigation were told by police last month they would not face charges.

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