THE BNP candidate for Middlesbrough’s upcoming by-election was this evening removed from a hustings event by police.

Event organisers Friends of the Earth had excluded Peter Foreman on the basis of his party’s politics. 

Chair of the meeting, Simon Bowens, said: “The BNP were not invited because of Friends of the Earth’s strict policy of not engaging with them because of their views on race and immigration, which are contrary to ours.”

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Mr Foreman arrived at the hustings - which provided the public with an opportunity to quiz the candidates ahead of Thursday's by-election -  asking for a chance to have his say, adding it was “appalling” the BNP were excluded.

Following an argument with Friends of the Earth volunteers, he was escorted from the premises by police who said he went “peacefully”.

Self-styled ‘independent Labour’ candidate Mark Heslehurst later said: “I really believe all eight candidates should have been here tonight so that, even if we do not agree with them, we can expose their opinions.”

The lively debate, held at St Barnabas Church, was attended by six candidates – Mr Heslehurst, Labour’s Andy McDonald, Liberal Democrat George Selmer, the Peace Party’s Imdad Hussain, Conservative Ben Houchen and Trade Unionist and Socialist candidate John Malcolm.

Topics covered included welfare reform, green issues, ATOS screenings and the accessibility of MPs to their constituents.