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Reporting duo's campaign against extremists rewarded

Two Yorkshire Evening Post reporters have been recognised for their campaigning work against the British National Party.

Peter Lazenby and Paul Robinson were honoured by the Yorkshire and Humberside regional Trades Union Congress at its annual general meeting in York.

The pair were responsible for a series of hard-hitting articles on the BNP’s extreme views in the run-up to last year’s local elections.

Presenting them with their awards, TUC regional secretary Paul Jagger praised the role that the Post campaign played in preventing the far right party making its hoped-for breakthrough at the ballot box.

The BNP fielded scores of candidates in its biggest-ever election push in West Yorkshire, and managed to take just a handful of seats.

Editor Neil Hodgkinson said: “I am very proud of both Pete and Paul for their efforts in exposing the threat such right-wing groups pose to a peaceful society. The honour is well-deserved and it is a campaign that will continue.”

An active member of the National Union of Journalists, Peter Lazenby is Father of Chapel at the Yorkshire Evening Post, and chairman of the Leeds branch.

Paul was named News Reporter of the Year (Daily Newspapers) at 2002’s Yorkshire Press Awards for his coverage of the trial of Leeds United footballers Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Woodgate.

Last year’s articles on the BNP led to threats against both Lazenby and Robinson being posted on extreme right websites such as Redwatch, Combat 18 and Blood and Honour.

A dossier of the threats was compiled by the Leeds branch of the National Union of Journalists and was taken up by Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn, West Yorkshire Police and the Home Office.