April 2nd, 2010

The black man who could help the BNP win Barking

Hugh Muir

Labour is worse than Nick Griffin's 'racist' party, says the Rev George Hargreaves of the Christian party

As protesters proclaiming themselves "the Workers of England" amplify the Beat's Stand Down Margaret into the busy high street, the Rev George Hargreaves tells me why his Christian party can't possibly do a deal with Labour. It's theological, he explains. Deep. Psalm 94, verse 20 warns that there will be a "throne of iniquity", and that's the Labour government, with its equalities act forcing Christians to make nice with gays; its education rules hampering them from running faith schools as they wish; its hostility to creationism. And how can I make any sort of deal with Margaret Hodge here in Barking, he asks me? In terms of morality, he says, she's the worst. "Abortion, gambling. She has no Christian credentials at all."


UK: Economy tracker

Unemployment in the UK is now 2.45 million, down 33,000 on the previous figure. It is the third consecutive time the jobless total has fallen.

The number of people claiming unemployment benefit - also known as Jobseeker's Allowance - also fell by 32,300 to 1.59 million in February, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

However, the number of people unemployed for more than 12 months increased by 61,000 over the quarter to reach 687,000, the highest figure since the three months to August 1997.

The rate of unemployment stands at 7.8%, unchanged from the previous three months.