A FORMER BNP councillor has been condemned for his calls to free a woman accused of a racist rant on a tram.

Paul Golding, who represented the St Mary's ward in Swanley, quit the BNP in March to become chairman of a new group called Britain First.

The far-right movement, which operates from an address in Swanley, has launched an online campaign called Free Emma West.

Emma West, aged 34, from New Addington, is charged with a racially aggravated public order offence and has been remanded in custody.

Her arrest came after a video appeared on YouTube of a woman making racists comments to passengers on a tram.

The alleged rant subsequently hit the headlines in the national media.

In the online campaign, Mr Golding, who is chairman of Britain First, said: "We call upon the Home Secretary, Teresa May, and the prison governors, Helga Swidenbank and Alan Thurlby, to be held personally accountable for any harm Miss West may suffer as a result of her incarceration in an ethnically-dominated prison."

The group emailed more than 70,000 British nationalists and have organised a rally for today (December 2) in support of West outside HMP Bronzefield in Ashford.

Gerry Gable, the publisher of anti-fascist magazine Searchlight, said: "If they are trying to catch headlines they are going for the wrong ones.

"It just shows there's nothing new about them. They are the same old haters.

"If they think they can defend somebody like that it says it all."

Speaking about the YouTube video, Mr Gable said: "It says something very very good for this country that nobody actually laid a hand on her."

Labour councillor Mark Fittock, who represents Mr Golding's former ward, said: "I'm outraged that this should be going on. The Labour group would never support such action.

"We fully support the law as it stands in this country on the issue."

Mr Golding refused to comment.