Ruth slams 'extremist' deputy mayor plans

A member of parliament for Stoke-on-Trent has criticised proposals to install a former BNP activist as deputy Lord Mayor.

Ruth Smeeth, Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent North, has warned that the move will divide the community and stifle investment in Stoke-on-Trent.

Ruth said: ‘Melanie Baddeley was an elected representative of the BNP when the party was being led by a convicted Holocaust denier. This is a woman who has helped to sow division and hatred in our city, and it is unthinkable that someone like this could be representing our communities as first citizen of Stoke-on-Trent.’

‘I would urge all councillors of whichever party to reconsider this decision. Appointing a "former" right-wing extremist to the mayoralty will divide our communities and repel business investment in our city.’

'Our city has a proud history of putting aside party politics to be united in the face of the politics of hate, and it's time for us to stand together again, to ensure that our city is represented by someone which shares all of our values not an extremist who speaks for hate and division'