Statement following European Union elections

Press Statement from Trevor Phillips following the European Election Result

08 June 2009

This is a sobering moment for our country. These elections mark a step into uncharted waters for the British people.  It is beyond party politics when for the first time, nearly a million British people voted for an organisation which will not accept many voters as members because of the colour of their skins.

We should never ignore or belittle the feelings of those who choose to vote for the BNP, especially those who are clearly concerned about the pace and direction of change in our society. However, we fundamentally believe that whatever the question posed by the recent turbulence in political life, the answer cannot lie in the promotion of racial division by spreading myths about the benefits and rights which some minorities allegedly enjoy, the relegation of millions of British people to the status of second-class citizens and the undermining of our democracy.

The Commission has already published research showing that the some of the myths about the allocation of social housing to immigrants are unsupported by the evidence; and we have also done much detailed work on the impact of immigration, revealing that the prosperity it brings is a foundation upon which this country is built.

In the midst of deep economic crisis, the Commission will continue to work actively with those who focus on bringing us together to agree on where our country should be going, rather than dividing us on the basis of where our ancestors may have come from. We must not have our hopes and desires to live in the country we call home hijacked by a party that does not speak for the great majority of the British people.