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Students' BNP interview plan prompts death threats
Two Oxford students received death threats after lining up the chairman of the British National Party to appear on their university radio show.
Plans to have Nick Griffin on Oxford University Student Union's Oxide Radio have since been scrapped.
He was due to appear on The Big Idea show today to talk about 'Britishness', but the students' union has pulled the plug on it.
The union has a policy which prevents its services being used by the BNP and the National Front to promote their views.
he two presenters of the show, James Macadam, a geography student, and Max Seddon, a 19-year-old history and Russian student, both received handwritten death threats, delivered to their college pigeonholes, as well as e-mails.
Mr Seddon said: "We didn't really take the threats seriously and they would not have stopped us from doing the interview, but we were told by the union that if we did, we would be taken off air.
"We are not fascists or supporters of the BNP. We thought Mr Griffin would make an interesting guest. We have had left-wing extremists on the show before, like George Galloway, so thought we could have right-wing extremists too."
Station controller Paul Arrich said despite the pressure the two presenters had still been happy to carry out the interview.
He said: "They did receive death threats which caused a great deal of concern, but I understand this had not fazed them.
"They thought he would be an interesting guest."
There were also threats that the students' union building from where the show is broadcast would be stormed by protesters, despite Mr Griffin being
scheduled to give a phone interview.
Plans for the show have since been axed by the students' union, which runs the radio station and has the right to censor content.
Mr Arrich added: "The union decided to pull the plug on Mr Griffin. I didn't agree with this, but there is nothing we could do, as we are funded by them. It's a sad episode."
Ed Mayne, the union's vice-president of finance, said: "All activities are governed by the students' union.
"Two years ago, a vote was taken on whether we should allow the BNP and the National Front to use our services and facilities as a platform for their views.
"The outcome of that was 'no'. That was a democratically-taken decision. We have to abide by those policies."