BNP candidate Reverend Robert West told pupils Muslims 'worship devil'

Reverend Robert West in Dagenham in April 2010 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Reverend Robert West, seen here campaigning for the BNP in 2010, denied the allegations against him

A teacher standing as a British National Party (BNP) candidate told pupils "Muslims worship the devil", a disciplinary panel has heard.

Reverend Robert West, 59, who is the party's parliamentary candidate for Boston and Skegness, made the comments during a history lesson.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) said his conduct fell short of the profession's standards.

A BNP spokesman said the party would comment once sanctions are decided.

Mr West has no connection to the Church of England. In 2006, he set up his own church, based in a house in Holbeach, to preach "traditional bible beliefs".

He said the comments had been made in the context of a lesson about the Crusades, was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

'Worshipping the devil'

The NCTL panel found he made inappropriate comments to students while working as a supply teacher at Walton Girls High School, Grantham, on 8 November 2013.

He stated that he was "allergic to Mohammedans" and when asked by a year 12 pupil whether there was there anything wrong with being a Muslim he said "yes, because we are fighting them", the panel said.

During another lesson on 14 November 2013, the hearing was told he said "any non-Christian god is demonic" and "Muslims worship the devil".

It was also claimed he said: "Well there is one God, and if you are not worshipping him, then you are worshipping the devil".

Mr West told the BBC he did make the comments but was trying to show pupils differing points of view. The comments did not represent his own views, he added.

The NCTL panel said it was satisfied Mr West's conduct fell short of expected standards, and found him guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

It will now decide whether Mr West should be banned from the profession. The BNP said it would not comment until a decision on Mr West's future as a teacher was reached.

Walton Girls High School and Sixth Form, in Grantham, said it followed its complaints process promptly when the concerns were raised, and referred the issue appropriately.

Boston and Skegness constituency candidates

  • UKIP - Robin Hunter-Clarke
  • Independent - Peter Johnson
  • Labour - Paul Kenny
  • The Pilgrim Party - Lyn Luxton
  • Independence from Europe - Chris Pain
  • Green - Victoria Percival
  • Conservative - Matt Warman
  • Liberal Democrat - David Watts
  • BNP - Robert West

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