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Corrie’s Julie defies letter threat horror

CORRIE star Julie Hesmondhalgh has pledged to fight on against far-right groups despite being targeted by a terrifying intimidation campaign.

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FASCIST target - Julie Hesmondhalgh.

CORRIE star Julie Hesmondhalgh has pledged to fight on against far-right groups despite being targeted by a terrifying intimidation campaign.

Julie, who plays transsexual Hayley Cropper in the Granada soap, revealed she has received a string of threatening letters since joining the fight against the far right.

Personal details, along with those of Coronation Street co-star and fellow anti-BNP activist Shobna Gulati, have been posted on a website linked to neo-nazi group Combat 18.

The site encourages supporters to send details of "red scumbags'' and warns: "We'll give as good as we get.''

Julie, 34, said: "It's a bit of intimidation. I've been getting offensive stuff and letters. The worst things are always anonymous. They have been posting things on websites. It's just a horrible, horrible thing."

"I would rather stay at home, but I feel I have a responsibility. I have just got to carry on, and Shobna feels the same.''

The site, which is named after the position in the alphabet of Adolf Hitler's initials, says it is not related to the BNP.

It refers to Julie as "the Corrie tranny'' and Shobna, who plays Sunita, as "the soap's ill-done-by Asian beauty'' and gives personal details.

The website's authors claim that by publishing personal details, they are only copying the tactics of militant anti-nazi groups.

Julie was speaking at the launch of Unite Against Fascism, a coalition aimed at stopping the BNP from winning seats at this summer's combined council and European elections.

BNP chairman Nick Griffin hopes to become a Euro-MP for the North West and opponents say he could get in with less than 10 per cent of the vote because of proportional representation. If the turnout is as low as in previous years - just under 20 per cent - that could translate to just 90,000 votes.

Gary Titley, Manchester-based leader of Labour MEPs, said: "We must miss no opportunity to expose the BNP for what they are and show that their message of intolerance and hatred has no place in the North West.''

BNP supporters tried to disrupt filming of Coronation Street in January when Julie and Shobna went to another protest rally at Manchester Town Hall.

A BNP spokesman said: "We have nothing to do with this website, but it shows people have had enough of people telling them who they can and cannot vote for.''