The Christian Party has defended a candidate accused of racism while apologising for his remarks. John Harrold, Christian Party candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan, shocked a hustings audience by making generalisations about Pakistani migrants and suggesting that they should “just go home”.
Harrold's comments are likely to fuel the growing impression that the Christian Party are comfortable with far-right attitudes. Another Christian Party candidate, James Gitau, last week admitted that he had left the British National Party (BNP) only days before he was nominated to contest Croydon Central.
James Harrold was speaking at a hustings in Cardiff when he said, “I have heard that there are more white British people leaving this country to live elsewhere and more people coming in who do not actually want to integrate themselves – especially the Pakistani community”.
He then added, “Shouldn't these people just go home?”
But a member of the audience, a nurse at University Hospital Wales, said “There's no place for racism in society and I think it's people like you who should leave”.
And Chris Williams, Plaid Cymru candidate for Cardiff Central, received applause when he added, “If there are racists about, get them out”.
The Christian Party was forced on the defensive by the incident. Their leader in Wales, Jeff Green, said, "John Harrold is a first-time candidate and he somewhat over-stretched his point”.
He added, “John was trying to say we should not have ghettos of communities who do not integrate with the place they move to. We drive on the left-hand side of the road and have certain rules in this society you have to abide by and people need to respect the way we do things”.
Without referring explicitly to Harrold's singling out of the Pakistani community, Green added, “But I apologise on his behalf for the comments made”.
The Christian Party leader, George Hargreaves, who debated on television with the BNP leader, Nick Griffin, earlier this year, insisted that his party's immigration policy was “firm but fair”.
He said, “There's a security problem in the European Union because we have an open door to Europe” and added, “We have a large number of Pakistani candidates standing for our party”.
Hargreaves appeared to question democracy last week when he argued that Members of Parliament should uphold Christianity because they are subject to a Christian monarch. The Christian Party believes in “keeping” Britain as a “Christian country”.
They support reductions in immigration, opposition to the European Union, an outright ban on abortion, and an end to the “promotion” of homosexuality. Despite describing themselves as “pro-life”, the Christian Party want to retain the UK's government's nuclear weapons and increase the motorway speed limit to 90 miles per hour.