Aberdeen council candidates have said they will boycott a hustings event if they are forced to share a platform with the National Front.
Torry Community Group has organised the event to quiz candidates standing for the Torry/Ferryhill council ward.
The UKIP candidate for the ward William McIntosh said he received a letter from the group which said all candidates had been invited except the National Front’s Billy Watson because some candidates did not wish to share a platform with him.
Mr McIntosh said it was an issue of “freedom of speech”.
He added: “I don’t agree with their policies, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion and they shouldn’t be excluding people for the sake of one or two.
“What if I said I didn’t want to sit with the Conservative candidate?”
The SNP, which has two candidates in the ward – Catriona Mackenzie and Christian Allard – said they would not share a platform with Mr Watson.
Mr Watson could not be reached for comment.
An SNP spokeswoman said: “We intend to send a local candidate to take part in this hustings event.
“However, our candidates do not wish to share a platform with people who actively encourage hate speech, misogyny and racism.
“Therefore, if a National Front candidate is invited to take part then no SNP candidate will be present.”
Renee Slater, Scottish Green Party candidate, said she would also be opposed to appearing with the NF candidate due to the party’s “racist policies”.
She said: “It’s important we state that racism is not a part of our community.”
Among its policies, the National Front has stated it would halt all non-white immigration into Britain and introduce a policy of “phased and humane repatriation”.
Betty Lyon, one of the organisers of the hustings, said a letter was sent to Mr Watson to say he could provide a written statement to be read out.
She added that the NF was not invited because the group needs to get “as many candidates as we can” to attend in order for residents to get the chance to quiz them.
Labour councillor Yvonne Allan, who is standing for re-election, said she had made no objection to any candidates attending, nor did Cllr Alan Donnelly of the Conservatives or independent candidate David Fryer.
Candidates Piotr Teodorowski (Aberdeen Labour) and Gregor McAbery (Scottish Liberal Democrats) could not be reached for comment.
The hustings is set to take place today at The White Cockade at 7pm.