CONCERNS have been raised over anti-Islamic party For Britain fielding a candidate in a Darlington by-election.

Former UKIP candidate Kevin Brack is one of six people standing in a by-election for the Cockerton ward, which was called following the recent death of Labour councillor David Regan.

For Britain was formed by anti-Islam activist Anne Marie Waters, who was defeated in the 2017 UKIP leadership elections.

Mr Brack believes the party has been misrepresented as being far-right but says he supports wholeheartedly its stance on Muslims, Sharia law and halal meat.

Claiming that the faith represents a threat to Britain and its political system, he said: “Islam goes against everything we believe, against Christian values.

“It is creeping in, slowly but surely and if Muslim people get into Government, they will start pushing for Islamic law and that is a really big threat, it completely threatens our system.”

The unemployed 60-year-old said his local work would focus on issues including car parking and transport and said he would seek to treat everyone in the ward equally, as he claimed Labour were currently “discriminating against white people”.

Darlington’s Labour MP Jenny Chapman is among those to have expressed concerns about For Britain.

She said: “It is wrong that far-right hatred tries to masquerade itself as a responsible political party by cloaking itself in the Union Jack.”

Conservative councillor Gerald Lee has worked to bring people of different cultures together through the town’s Celebrating Communities group.

He said: “It is concerning that there are people in Darlington with this kind of attitude and it is quite dangerous.

“But I’m sure that a lot of people would not agree with what they’re trying to do and I hope that it will strengthen the community as we resist it.

“I’m surprised this is happening in Darlington, it is a welcoming town with welcoming people.”

Council leader Bill Dixon said: “We live in a democracy and that means that anybody who wishes to stand for election can.

“The council has quite clear rules around social inclusion that members are expected to abide by.

“When swearing in, you commit to represent all of the people you represent.

“You cannot stop anybody from standing and that is the cost of democracy but thank god we live in one.

“The electorate are mature enough to make up their own minds.”

Members of the public have also expressed concern after receiving leaflets about Mr Brack’s campaign.

One woman said: “If that leaflet came through the door of a Muslim family, they could feel like they're not considered part of the community and that is so wrong. People in Cockerton deserve to know who could be representing them.”

Also standing for election are independent candidate Joel Alexander, Liberal Democrat Charlie Curry, Scott Durham of the Conservative Party, Green Party candidate Terri Hankinson and Labour's Eddie Heslop.

The election will take place on Thursday, July 12.