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Lancaster MP joins debate about AUP

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Tory MP Ben Wallace has written to the boss of PayPal Europe over concerns that the online payment service is being used to raise funds for the British National Party (BNP).

The MP for Lancaster & Wyre was reacting to a campaign set in motion by his local branch of Unite Against Fascism (UAF) which claims that the BNP's extremist views breach Paypal's Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) which states that "You many not use PayPal in the purchase or sale of items or support of organizations that promote hate, violence, or racial intolerance."

Activists want e-Bay-owned PayPal to pull the plug on the BNP's account in a bid to dry up funding for the political party.

Lancaster UAF has already gained support for its campaign at a grass roots level and is now turning to the net to help boost awareness.

"We've been busy emailing the universe at large about the campaign against Paypal's support of the British National Party," said a posting on its blog.

"Mails have gone out to the Campaign for Racial Equality, the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism, the Board of Deputies, the Moslem Council of Great Britain, Ken Livingstone and over two hundred MPs and MEPs (all the ones we can find email addresses for, in fact) plus numerous other organisations.

"Ben Wallace, MP for Lancaster and Wyre, has written to say that he's written directly to Geoff Iddison, the Chief Exec of Paypal, asking for his response to the concerns we expressed. Good stuff, Ben. We're all looking forward to Iddison's reply."

Asked to comment a spokesman for PayPal said: "PayPal has no evidence that the BNP is in breach of its acceptable use policy. However, as with any organisation, were we to receive evidence this wasn't the case or a breach had been made, we would review the situation."

A spokesman for the BNP dismissed the campaign saying: "We're supposed to live in a democracy yet these people are not tolerant of a legally registered political party."

In 2004 Barclays and HSBC closed the accounts of the BNP following an undercover documentary by the BBC into the actions of the party. ®

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