21 October 2009
BECTU's general secretary, Gerry Morrissey, is to speak at the Unite Against Fascism rally outside BBC Television Centre, London, on 22 October.
The rally is being staged in opposition to the planned appearance of BNP leader, Nick Griffin, on the BBC's current affairs programme, Question Time.
BECTU, which represents BBC staff both in London and across the UK, has criticised the BBC and Question Time producers for their decision to invite the BNP to take part in the programme.
BECTU believes that the BNP's policies are reprehensible, anti-democratic and racist and that the party's performance earlier this year in the European elections, does not justify inclusion in the programme, contrary to the BBC's official view.
The union believes that the BBC's standing has been damaged by the row and that the Corporation has conferred legitimacy on a political organisation whose beliefs represent an attack on the UK's multi-cultural democracy.
When the programme's invitation to Nick Griffin became public, BECTU issued a statement in support of any union member who elected, on the grounds of conscience, not to participate in the making of this week's edition of Question Time.
Speaking last month, Gerry Morrissey said:
“Contrary to what the BBC has said, the BNP is not a legitimate political party in our eyes. Its policies are directly opposed to the democratic principles which underpin our multi-cultural society and those policies should not be given airtime.
"The BNP’s constitution only permits white people to join the party; this fact speaks volumes about the BNP’s fascist policies and everyone who believes in democracy should be taking a strong stance against the BNP, rather than helping the party to spread its poison.”
In the same statement, BECTU also criticised justice minister, Jack Straw, for agreeing to share a platform with the BNP's leader.
Anti-BNP demonstrations will be taking place at a number of BBC sites across the country on 22 October.