Jean Calder (The Argus, April 3) is right when she says that the "daily Press barrage of criticism about asylum seekers" is helping to create a dangerous atmosphere of prejudice in Britain.

Most of the more hysterical coverage in certain national papers is in fact based on information produced by Migrationwatch UK, a one-man-with-a-fax-machine operation with a particular point of view to push.

There are those who will seek to capitalise at the polls on the belief that our immigration policy is "a shambles" and that we are being "flooded" with immigrants.

We must not continue to allow the myths about asylum and immigration to go unchallenged.

Britain takes in only two per cent of the world's asylum seekers, just 1.7 per 1,000 people compared to 4.2 in Belgium.

Furthermore, the number of asylum seekers coming into the UK in the past year has halved.

Asylum seekers do not come here to live off generous benefits denied existing residents or take "our" jobs.

A single adult asylum seeker fleeing human rights abuses has to survive on just £37.77 a week, 30 per cent below the poverty line, and asylum applicants are also legally banned from working for six months after arriving in the UK.

They are forced to take the low-paid jobs no one else wants and the flats no one else will rent that don't form part of any council waiting list.

Far from being a "soft touch", the UK has some of the most stringent border controls in Europe.

Rather than being a burden on UK taxpayers, migrants to the UK make a net contribution to the UK economy in excess of £2.5 billion per year and bring with them much-needed skills in fields such as medical care and IT.

Although some repeat horror stories they have heard about asylum seekers, few if any people have first-hand experience or can point to local examples or evidence.

Asylum seekers are far more likely to be victims of crime than commit it themselves.

Against this background of media myth and hysteria, the far-right racist BNP will be fielding candidates at the European elections in the belief that prejudice and a low voter turnout will enable them to win seats in the European Parliament.

It's up to everyone to use their vote on June 10 to deny them a platform for their abhorrent views, or else they could find themselves represented by a BNP Euro MP on June 11.

-Councillor Warren Morgan, Labour & Co-Operative, Brighton & Hove City Council