Ken Livingstone has pulled out of an upcoming BBC Mayoral debate over the presence on the panel of the BNP.
Livingstone also dismissed the BNP candidate urging his supporters to give Livingstone their second preferences, saying it was “clearly designed to disorganise progressive opinion and divide opposition to them”.
Speaking this afternoon, Livingstone said:
“I have long held to the belief in no platform for the far right. The far right want to destroy our democracy and stand for the elimination of our basic rights. They cannot be treated as a legitimate part of politics.
“I am withdrawing from Monday’s Mayoral debate on BBC London 94.9 on the grounds that I am not prepared to share a platform with the British National Party.
‘We have been in negotiation about a debate with the main candidates for BBC London 94.9 – but only now have we been informed that the BNP had been invited to take part in this debate, and this has been confirmed to us
“I will not share a platform with the BNP and it is a point of principle to me that I never will do.
“That the BNP candidate may have called for a second preference for me is clearly designed to disorganise progressive opinion and divide opposition to them. Not only don’t I want their second preference but I will not share a platform with them. I urge everyone to use their vote on 3 May to
vote to keep the BNP out.”