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KT Tunstall’s stepfather stands as BNP candidate

Rock star KT Tunstall has spoken of her horror after her stepfather was unveiled as a candidate for the British National Party.

A spokesman for Tunstall – who supported Barack Obama when he was running for the US presidency – said she abhorred the party that former funeral director David Orr was standing for in Livingston.

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Mr Orr described Tunstall as a political “yoghurt knitter” and claimed the musician’s mother had met BNP leader Nick Griffin.

Tunstall, 34, is originally from Fife. Her first album sold around four million copies and led to her winning a Brit Award. She has also won an Ivor Novello award and was nominated for the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance award at the Grammys in 2007.

The singer has also been candid about the fact she was adopted just days after she was born in 1975.

Her birth mother, Carol Ann Orr, gave up the future star over fears she would not be able to raise her properly. Mrs Orr, who is half-Chinese, married taxi driver David Orr in 1989.

She and Tunstall spoke publicly in 2006 about their emotional reunion, which took place in an Edinburgh pub.

However, the singer is now facing embarrassment over the far-right political leanings of her stepfather. He was reportedly present when Tunstall and her mother met for the first time.

Mr Orr, 61, has been a BNP member for around 10 years and was confirmed last week as a candidate for the far-right party. According to official papers submitted to the local council, Tunstall’s birth mother nominated her husband as a BNP candidate.

Tunstall has been closely aligned to progressive political causes – she is one of the public faces behind a United Nations campaign to raise awareness of global warming, as well as an advocate of the leftish “vote for a change” campaign backed by Billy Bragg.

She supported Obama over Republican John McCain for the US presidency in 2008 and is also a fan of former vice-president Al Gore, of whom she has said: “I trust him, and there are so few people I believe in public life these days.”

And during the US presidential election, Tunstall was quoted as saying: “I feel strongly that the world would be in a safer place if it was a Democrat government in the States.”

By contrast, Mr Orr’s politics are a world away from Tunstall’s liberal views.

In an interview with the Sunday Herald, Mr Orr said he supported a referendum on capital punishment and a clampdown on immigration: “Between 2001 and 2004, the Labour Cabinet tried to flood the country with immigrants to try and change the whole of society.”

He added: “They [immigrants] tend to have more children than the indigenous population.”

Mr Orr said of his stepdaughter: “Katie [KT] doesn’t agree with our policies. She’s one of the greenies, the yoghurt knitters.

“We see Katie when she’s up on tour. When she found out that I was standing for the British National Party, it was a quick stand back.”

He said of his wife: “She has met Nick Griffin. She met him up in Perth about a year and a half ago.”

A spokesman for KT Tunstall said: “Katie abhors the BNP and what it stands for. She is not in contact with David Orr.”

Margo MacDonald, an MSP for the Lothians, said she felt sorry for the singer: “You have to feel sympathy for anyone in a situation like this. It is clear that you can choose your friends, but not your relatives.”

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