NEWSQUEST, publisher of the Stourbridge News, Halesowen News and Dudley News, has received many complaints from readers for accepting advertisements from the British National Party in its titles across the region and their associated websites.

Here is a selection of some of the comments:

  • Having read your fine newspaper for years and surfing your website in recent years, I am bitterly disappointed to see the website carried an advert for the BNP under the heading “British Jobs for British People”.

I find this distasteful as although I would agree that local people should have a chance to find employment, it is widely accepted what the BNP mean by such slogans.

David McQuilkin

  • As an exiled Stourbridge man now living in London, I rely heavily on the Stourbridge News website for my "fix" of local news, checking the site daily for updates.

I have a question though, what the hell are you doing running a BNP advert on your home page? And, worse still, why is there a live link to their website?

I’m shocked at your lack of judgment!

Adrian Williams

  • I am writing to protest in the strongest possible terms about your company’s decsion to carry website advertising for the far right, fascist British National Party.

The BNP is not like other political parties as it advocates discrimination against large groups of your own readers based on their skin colour, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliations, trade union membership etc.

The BNP would also curtail the freedom of the media.

Your company should respect the diversity of its readership and its own employees by refusing to carry BNP advertsing based on its discriminatory and fascist policies.

You can do this quite legitimately and send out a signal to your readers and employees that you take equality and diversity seriously.

We may be in a recession but it is no excuse to sell your soul for thirty pieces of silver.

Councillor John Martin

  • I would like to complain in the strongest possible terms about Newsquest’s decision to carry adverts from the fascist BNP.

Some of the adverts in question have already been found to be fake, promoting “British Jobs For British Workers” while showing unsuspecting American builders.

Shouldn’t the job of a newspaper be to expose fraud, especially political fraud, rather than pander to it?

Local newspapers should serve the whole of the community, in fact I believe that’s part of your own mission statement?

To promote the reprehensible policies of a fascist party brings shame to Newsquest.

Are you really so desperate for business that you will help to promote a racist ideology that this country went to war to defeat?

Please change your mind and pull the ads.

Antony Schofield

  • I was dismayed to see the BNP being advertised on your newspaper sites and wish to make a formal complaint.

My husband is Japanese. The BNP calls marriages like ours “miscegenation”, “neither moral nor normal” and the BNP says our children “are the tragic victims of multiculturalism”.

I find this not only outrageous coming from a political party but also personally offensive and so object strongly to your support of this nasty party.

Your newspapers are contaminated by publicising such filth.

Barbara Suzuki

  • I am totally flabbergasted and disgusted to see the extreme right wing BNP have been allowed to emblazon your entire website with the most innocuous and official-looking banner declaring “British Jobs for British Workers”

I must tell you that this appears to supersede your banner, thus making your site (and therefore your organisation) appear affiliated to the aforementioned facist party, whether you are or not!

It is the responsibility of a local newspaper to serve the WHOLE community, not just the extremely racist and right wing minority BNP.

I was born and raised in Stourbridbge and have chosen to return here to raise my family and I can honestly say that you are playing to the lowest common denominator if you think this advertising campaign reflects the views of the people of Stourbridge.

Nigel Moore

  • I was and am still shocked, upset and disappointed to see the BNP slogan on your website.

I have lived and worked happily all my life in the Midlands with people from many different backgrounds.

The thought of the BNP spreading their lies and hatred amongst our communties is bad enough but to allow them to advertise on a website which,unless I am very much mistaken, is for ALL local people is sickening.

Ruth Dugmore

  • As someone born and bred in the Black Country, I feel I must complain about the BNP advertisements.

I have always been proud of the way people in the Black Country from many different backgrounds get on together.

However, there have always been a few who are determined to disrupt this harmony.

The BNP are such a group, who are white-supremacists in the mould of Hitler’s Nazis.

They only wish to take advantage of the current economic problems to blame anyone they consider not part of the “Master Race”.

If the BNP were to ever get power, the outcome doesn’t bear thinking about.

If you wish to not offend many of your readers, I strongly suggest you remove these adverts immediately.

Martin George

  • I am extremely disturbed to see adverts for the BNP appearing on your website.

The BNP is a racist, fascist party.

You are under no obligation whatsoever to carry their ads and I think it is shameful, especially in view of Newsquest's own policy: “Newsquest is committed to encouraging diversity throughout its workforce.”

The BNP’s goal of an “all-white” Britain blatantly contravenes your own policy.

Please take these offensive adverts off your website and take your business elsewhere.

Mellie Agon

  • How totally irresponsible to display adverts from the BNP.

Is it because you sympathise with racist, far right politics?

I’m completely disgusted by this and think everyone involved with this decision should be sacked and the advert replaced with an apology to all those likely to suffer more abuse as a result of you helping to promote a hateful, bigoted ideology.

Az Embleton

The response to our readers;

Newsquest accepts advertisements that comply with the law and the Code of Advertising Practice.

We cannot selectively discriminate against legally constituted political parties standing in a public election.

Indeed, we would say that, in doing so, we might be playing into the hands of those intolerant and anti-democratic forces that people condemn.

It is for the electorate to cast judgment, not us.