CHURCH leaders are concerned about extremist voting at next week’s local elections.

Members of the Huddersfield Interfaith Council are urging voters to take a stand against racist and extreme political parties.

With the local elections taking place on May 1, local church leaders are asking residents to vote sensibly.

Shazad Hussain, chairman of the Huddersfield Interfaith Council, said: “Our major concern is that first of all everybody uses their vote and they don’t miss out on their vote.

“Secondly, we want people to make the right decision which keeps the local area stable.

“We are a group of different faiths working together to make the community a better place.

“We have a good mixed community and there is a good social cohesion in Kirklees and we want that to continue after the elections.”

Nationally, the UK Free Church Christians and the Muslim Council of Britain have joined forces to take a stand against extremism in politics.

Mr Hussain added: “As people of faith, we believe that we should vote according to our values.

“All of the faiths teach that we should honour and love our neighbour, whatever their background.

“We should reject racism and intolerance in our politics and we urge Kirklees voters to do likewise so that extremists do not get elected to represent us.”

The Huddersfield Interfaith Council is a forum which brings church leaders from all faiths together.

Its aim is to work towards racial and religious equality and cohesion in all areas of life.

Rachel Lampard, Methodist Church secretary, added: “Churches have urged people not to vote for candidates who promote racist policies which are completely incompatible with the Christian call to love one another.”

Of the 69 Kirklees seats, 22 are up for grabs a Thursday’s local elections.