Members of the South Oxhey Community Choir have rejected a much-needed £1,000 donation offered by a British National Party (BNP) councillor.

The group, featured in the recent BBC programme The Choir: Unsung Town, was offered the money by South Oxhey county councillor Deirdre Gates, elected earlier this year.

Like all of the council's 77 representatives Councillor Gates has been given £10,000 to distribute to worthy community groups. The choir’s members, however, decided they could not take money associated with the right wing party.

Committee member Russ Clancy told the Watford Observer why the group decided to reject the offer: He said: “Obviously we would really like this money but we discovered that if we took it our name would be used in BNP literature in the future.

“We’ve worked really hard as a group to be inclusive of everybody and promote an ethnically diverse choir. We don’t feel the BNP shares those values so, as a group, we decided to turn the money down.”

Councillor Gates was not available for comment this morning.

The retired legal secretary has, however, made a £250 donation to the Three Rivers Neighbourhood Watch group, which has been accepted.

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