THE Bishop of Burnley and the borough's MP have warned far-right activist Tommy Robinson his proposed visit to the town next week is unwelcome.

The Rt Rev Philip North and Julie Cooper are among 14 signatories to a public statement opposing the former English Defence League leader holding a Euro-election rally in Burnley on Tuesday.

Mr Robinson postponed a visit to Blackburn on Friday but there was an angry confrontation between his supporters and opponents.

The Independent candidate in Thursday's European Parliament elections was doused with milkshakes at a campaign rally in Warrington by Blackburn man Danyal Mahmud.

The open letter is also signed by Neil Hart, chief executive of Burnley FC in the Community and the leaders of five council political groups- Labour's Cllr Mark Townsend, the Liberal Democrats' Cllr Gordon Birtwistle, Burnley and Padiham Independent Party's Cllr Mark Payne, the Conservatives' Cllr Andrew Newhouse, and the Green Party's Cllr Andrew Fewings.

It says: "We want to make this statement about Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, also known as 'Tommy Robinson'. Together, on behalf of our community, we felt it necessary to speak out against his visit. We are firm in our beliefs that violence and racism have no place in our political discourse.

"Burnley and Padiham are proud towns. They are towns that reject hate and work tirelessly for the common good.

"We have established and thriving Pakistani, Bangladeshi, South Asian and Eastern European communities, living and working here. If we were to welcome this man we’d be dismissing the valued contribution they have made.

"We call upon our communities to reject the politics of division and hate. Yaxley-Lennon’s far-right political views are not welcome in our great towns."

Mr Robinson did not respond to a Lancashire Telegraph request for a comment but has said he is 'fighting for the forgotten people who have no voice'.

The other signatories are Cllr Bea Foster from Building Bridges; Peter Thorne, secretary of the North East Lancashire TUC; Peter Billington, Secretary of the Lancashire Association of Trades Union Councils; Andy Makin, from the Unite union; Maggie Smith of the Socialist Workers Party; and Richard Macsween from the Unison union.