ROYAL MAIL PROBES SABOTAGE CLAIM BY NATIONAL FRONT CITY ORGANISER
09:00 - 19 October 2004
Royal Mail security is investigating allegations that post destined for the National Front in Aberdeen has been tampered with.
The extreme right-wing political party, which has sparked controversy with its plans to hold a march in the city next month, claims post went missing, then turned up a fortnight late after being ripped open.
National Front Scottish organiser Dave MacDonald said he became suspicious when a membership application went astray.
Concerned, he sent a letter addressed to himself containing a note stating it was being monitored.
When that letter and another sent from Glasgow the same weekend failed to arrive, he reported the matter to Royal Mail, Mr MacDonald said.
He believes they must have been opened by someone who knew the organisation had a post-office box at Kittybrewster, Aberdeen, as they had not been addressed to the National Front.
"Thirteen to 14 days later, both letters appeared after being ripped open and sealed with Royal Mail security tape," said Mr MacDonald. "Without doubt it is political because the two letters didn't have National Front on them. The only thing I can think of is that someone knew they were for the National Front and decided to have a look."
Royal Mail confirmed last night it was investigating what appeared to be a nationwide delivery problem for the National Front.
A spokeswoman said: "We have been tracking mail that had arrived at Kittybrewster. Some had already been tampered with.
"It is not happening at Kittybrewster.
"It is a national problem and our security team are dealing with it."
Mr MacDonald said he had raised the matter with Grampian Police after failing to hear from Royal Mail. Grampian Police said they had not received a complaint.
A police spokeswoman said: "There had been some discussion informally about it. He had been told to make an official complaint if he wanted that to be investigated but that has not happened."
Mr MacDonald claimed he had made an official complaint. He said he spent 45 minutes with a police officer at the Queen Street HQ and was told the force would be contacting Royal Mail.
Pressure is mounting on Grampian Police to ban the National Front's planned march through Aberdeen on November 28.
Last week, Aberdeen's three Labour MPs and Aberdeen Central MSP Lewis Macdonald met Chief Constable Colin McKerracher.
Aberdeen City Council's licensing committee said it had no power to stop the march unless the police thought it was a threat to public safety.
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