THE award of a BAFTA to a television drama telling the tragic story of teenager Sophie Lancaster has been praised for helping the fight against hate crime.

Her MP Graham Jones and Labour health spokeswoman Julie Cooper said the recognition of Murdered For Being Different would raise the profile of the issue locally and nationally.

On Sunday the British Academy of Film and Television Arts named the BBC Three film as the best single TV drama.

It showed how the 20-year-old from Haslingden was beaten to death by a gang because she dressed as a Goth.

Her boyfriend Robert Maltby, who worked on the film, was also severely beaten during the 2007 incident in Stubbylee Park, Bacup.

Hyndburn and Haslingden MP Mr Jones said: "The BAFTA was fantastic and a tribute to the work of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation and her mother Sylvia. It will raise the profile of hate crime and educate people about the need to be more tolerant of people who are different."

Burnley MP Mrs Cooper: said: "This recognition will raise the profile of hate crime.

"I met Sophie Lancaster’s mother and heard first hand of both the horror and the heartbreak of this cruel and senseless attack. I sincerely hope lessons will be learnt about unchecked and indiscriminate hatred."

The factual drama, filmed 10 years after Sophie’s death, was produced with the full backing of her family and the police investigators.