A black reverend who defected from the BNP because it was “too racist” is standing in the general election as a Christian Party candidate for the Croydon Central seat.

Reverend James Gitau, 63 from West Croydon, joined the BNP and went on the campaign trail on April 10 with Nick Griffin in Barking and Dagenham, the constituency where he is standing.

The Kenyan, who moved to Britain in 1997, said: “I actually decided to join them when they opened up for all races. I campaigned for them to open up to other races.

“I asked them to give me one of the constituency seats in Croydon and they refused so I decided to leave. I also realised then that they were too racist.”

Rev Gitau will be standing against BNP candidate Cliff Le May in Croydon Central who has come under fire for his racist views.

He wrote to London Mayor Boris Johnson asking him to “stop ruining our community by stuffing New Addington with violent immigrants who have no right to live among decent civilised white people” and called Gavin Barwell a traitor to his “race and nation” for the Conservative’s immigration policy.

Rev Gitau, who is affiliated to the United Holy Church of America, said he was approached by the Christian Party on April 17 who encouraged him to leave the BNP and join their party.

However, he said he still gave advice to BNP leader Nick Griffin.

He said: “I am giving him advice and telling him that racism is not the way forward.”

Mr Gitau said he told Nick Griffin there should be immigration controls but “genuine immigrants” should be allowed into the country.

Rev Gitau said one of the reasons he campaigned to join the BNP was because it was “the only party that boldly speaks against sodomy in public”.

However, he hastened to add, he was not homophobic.

He said: “I preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and he preaches against homosexuality. I don’t hate homosexuals, I love them. They are my friends, they are human beings. We should love them but teach them to be better people.”

Rev Gitau said he wanted homosexuals in Croydon to vote for him “because we are all sinners”.