Smethwick council buying vacant homes to prevent more coloured people moving in on Marshall Street

Video 3 of 3 In 1964 Peter Griffiths, Conservative candidate in Smethwick constituency won his seat using the slogan “If you want a nigger for a neighbour VOTE LABOR” The general election was won by Labour, overturning 13 years of Conservative government. In contrast, largely because of the race issue, a Labour majority of 3544 was turned into a Tory majority of 1774, defeating the senior Labour MP Patrick Gordon in Smethwick. The “nigger for a neighbour” slogan was attributed to the Griffiths campaign in a BBC interview by Labour leader Harold Wilson. Griffiths denied using those words, but said that they accurately reflected the frustrations of locals. Immediately after the election Wilson (as prime minister) attacked Griffiths in the House of Commons, calling him the “parliamentary leper”. Additionally the Tories had also taken control of the local council, instituting a policy on Marshall Street of buying houses which came up for sale and putting them back on the market for sale to whites only. In an attempt to better-integrated immigrants. Soon after, Americas Malcolm X visited Marshall Street and was interviewed, saying: “I have come here because I am disturbed by reports that coloured people in Smethwick are being badly treated. I have heard they are being treated as the Jews under Hitler. I would not wait for the fascist element in Smethwick to erect gas ovens.” Malcolm X was shot dead in Harlem days after his return from this trip. Later that year in October a
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