A LABOUR councillor has hit back at the British National Party (BNP) after a video of her taking down a campaign poster promoting the right wing group was posted on the internet.

The video of Councillor Barbara Graham, who last week won a seat in the new County Durham unitary authority for the Tudhoe ward, was posted on YouTube by a user called Sedgefield BNP.

It shows the Sedgefield District Councillor walking down Weardale Street in Tudhoe with a folded up BNP poster.

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In the 42-second clip, the man filming Coun Graham says over a loudspeaker: "The Labour party will go around stealing other people's property and they don't mind us videoing them while they do it.

"That's called theft madam, this footage may well be going to the police, as we pay a pound for them signs."

In last week's election, Coun Graham won the most votes in the Tudhoe ward, with her Labour colleague, Neil Crowther-Foster, also elected in second place.

The BNP's Adam Walker, who came third, missed out on a seat by 129 votes.

Coun Graham, said: "I'm not going to deny that I took the poster down. In fact I'm glad I did, there was nothing secretive about it. As I understand it, it is flyposting and you need permission from the council to do that.

"The poster was in a place that was acting as a distraction for passing motorist, so I felt it was unsafe."

Coun Graham criticised the tactics used by the BNP in the run-up to election.

"We had a BNP car following ours, bumper to bumper, with a loudspeaker calling the Labour party liars. We had eggs thrown at us, and the abuse I got from some people was awful.

"In fact, I wish I had carried a camera round with me all day because I'm sure I would have captured lots of things that would interest people."

"They have accused me of theft, but it isn't theft because I still have the poster here and I am happy to give it them back."

Yesterday, Mr Walker denied having any part in filming the video which was posted on May 1 - the day of the local elections.

He said: "We have seen the clip on You Tube, but we have no certain knowledge of the incident depicted, or who is responsible for making or distributing the film."

Ken Booth, North-East organiser for the BNP, said: "I have passed loads of other parties' posters but I just leave them, I don't rip them down. They are our posters, we pay for them and we are allowed to put them there.

"It smacks of desperation. The BNP have ran a good and fair campaign, unlike some of the other parties."