A SERIES of swastikas have been daubed on the walls of Swindon College.

The graffiti was discovered as students arrived for lectures on Monday at the college's North Star campus.

Jaginder Bassi of Swindon's Racial Equality Council said he thought a leaflet by the British National Party against a possible mosque near the site might explain the damage.

But the BNP has strongly denied responsibility for the graffiti and said it is not the type of thing they would do.

College maintenance staff removed the swastikas on Monday, which were daubed on an exterior wall in red and black paint.

But the episode has left a bad taste in the mouths of college staff.

Swindon College spokeswoman Amanda Burnside said: "We think it was done over the weekend. From the school's point of view it is very regrettable, particularly since it has happened to the new college building."

When asked if a student had done the damage, the college's marketing manager refused to rule it out.

She said: "We can never say never about the possibility that it was done by a student but it would be extremely disappointing if that were the case.

"Most of our students respect the new buildings and are proud of their surroundings.

"We have security guards on patrol at weekends to minimise the chance of these type of incidents."

Mr Bassi said: "I am quite surprised by this graffiti because it has not appeared in Swindon for a while.

"After a member of the British National Party was taken into custody last year the problem seemed to have gone away."

Mr Bassi thought one explanation was a leaflet being distributed by the BNP.

The pamphlet he refers to is titled Swindon Super-Mosque?' and has been distributed around the North Star area.

It attacks the possible construction of a new mosque on open ground near Osborne Road, and can be seen on the party's website.

And though Thamesdown Islamic Association has not submitted any planning proposal, Mr Bassi thinks the leaflet explains why the swastikas appeared.

He said: "This graffiti may or may not be linked but it seems plausible.

"It is trying to create discord and antagonise people when there isn't anything going on."

But the BNP denied any involvement with the graffiti.

Mike Howson, the BNP chairman for Wiltshire, said: "This incident has nothing to do with us and is probably some left-wing individual with too much time on their hands.

"We don't even know why people contact us about this kind of thing because the days of racist graffiti are long gone.

"As I say, it must have been someone who was bored and wanted to cause a stir."