Three UK doctors have criticised the tactics employed by the British National Party prior to the European Elections last month.
In the run-up to the elections the BNP distributed 29 million leaflets, some of which featured an image of a white doctor alongside the quote: ‘I’m voting BNP because I see what immigration has done to the NHS’.
Writing in The Lancet, the three doctors – from Southampton and London – said: ‘If it were not poisonous enough in itself, the quote becomes more dangerous through its anonymity – without association to a named individual, it reflects all white British doctors.
‘It has huge potential to damage our vital relationships with patients from ethnic minorities or from other countries,’ they said.
‘Our profession’s neutrality is a precious virtue, and use of the medical profession to promote any political party is unacceptable. The responsibility for safeguarding the public’s perception of doctors is of fundamental importance and something the professional bodies that represent us should protect at any cost,’ they added.