SENIOR Labour Party officials have launched a scathing attack on the poor performance of the Barking constituency party, and its MP Margaret Hodge, for failing to run a campaign against the British National Party candidate, Richard Barnbrook, even though the BNP had declared its intention to focus its campaigning on Barking.
The BNP won 16.9 per cent of the vote and came third. The Tories secured second place by just 27 votes.
Anti-fascists staged a big campaign, delivering newsletters, in both Barking and neighbouring Dagenham but concentrated more on Dagenham because the BNP had won a council seat there last year.
Labour strategists noted that the BNP switched its focus from Dagenham to Barking precisely because of the strength of the anti-fascist campaign there. In Dagenham the BNP won only nine per cent.