By Martin Smith and Tash Shifrin | 12 April 2015
UPDATED: 13 April 2015
In less than four weeks, Britain will go to the polls. The biggest danger comes from the racist populist party UKIP. It is eyeing up a number of seats and trying to create a climate of racism and bigotry. The mainstream parties are all pandering to this.
But nobody should ignore that fact that a number of fascist candidates and parties are also standing.
In the 2010 general election the British National Party stood 388 candidates. This time it will only be standing in eight. The English Democrats stood 104 candidates in 2010 – a figure that has fallen to 32.
This is a huge setback for the fascists. But they will try to use these elections to re-establish a toe-hold in national politics.
They will be standing in a number of guises.
We have put together a list of BNP, National Front, English Democrat and Liberty GB candidates and the constituencies they are standing in, with some short biographies and other details for the key fascist candidates.
Adam Walker – Rotherham
Adam Walker, pictured at the top of this page, is the new leader of the BNP, replacing Nick Griffin. He will attempt to use the child sexual exploitation scandal in Rotherham to whip up racism and gain votes.
Former school teacher Walker was found to have used a school laptop during lessons to post messages on an internet forum describing immigrants as “savage animals” and “filth”.
Walker was later given a six-month suspended jail sentence for verbally abusing three schoolboys, chasing them in his car and slashing their bicycle tyres with a Stanley knife. After an investigation by the General Teaching Council, Walker was banned for life from the profession in 2013. He lost his appeal in 2014.
Before becoming the leader of the BNP Walker was the party’s deputy chair. He was also president of the BNP’s front “trade union”, Solidarity – the Union for British Workers. He described Britain in a speech as a “multicultural shithole”. During the 2010 general election he campaigned alongside Nick Griffin wearing an army uniform, despite not being a serving soldier.
At the 2010 general election, the BNP came fourth in Rotherham with 10.4% (3,906 votes). In the 2012 Rotherham byelection, the party came third with 8.5% (1,804 votes).
Tess Culnane – Dagenham and Rainham
Culnane has been a member of both the BNP and the National Front, and was an aide to former BNP Greater London Assembly member Richard Barnbrook after his election in 2008. She has also spoken at meetings of open White Power nazi organisations the British People’s Party and the Nationalist Alliance. Culnane stood for the London Assembly seat of Greenwich and Lewisham in 2008 getting 5.8% of the vote.
Labour’s Jon Cruddas took this seat at the last election when it was newly created after boundary changes to the old Dagenham constituency. The BNP came third in 2010 with 11.2% of the vote (4,952 votes).
Part of the constituency is covered by Barking and Dagenham council, once a BNP stronghold where the nazis had 12 councillors until they were all kicked out after a huge antifascist campaign in 2010. Both the BNP and the racist and fascist street thugs of the English Defence League have continued to organise in the area, with demonstrations – and serious physical attacks – targeting Muslims and mosques.
Robert West – Boston and Skegness
West was once a district councilor for the Tories, who suspended him after he spoke at a BNP meeting in 2006. He defected to the BNP, claiming David Cameron’s proposed candidates for the 2010 election excluded white male candidates in favour of women, non-whites and LGBT people.
The BNP came fifth here in 2010 with 5.3% of the vote. This is an area of Lincolnshire where fascists and the far right have been organising for years, mainly aiming their racism at migrant workers. In 2004, up to 100 racists rioted in the town attacking shops and burning cars when the England football team was knocked out of the European Championships. One witness remembers, “They were chanting: ‘I’d rather be a Paki than a Kurd.'” In 2012 an anti-immigration march was held in Boston, with the support of prominent EDL members.
Paul Hooks – Braintree
Hooks took 2.2% (1,080 votes) in the Braintree seat for the BNP in 2010, coming fifth. It is a solidly Tory constituency.
Catherine Duffy – Charnwood, Leicestershire
Duffy is a councillor in Charnwood – one of the BNP’s two remaining councillors nationwide. She came fourth with 5.8% of the vote (3,116 votes) in the solidly Tory constituency in 2010.
A national database of BNP members, leaked in 2009, showed Charnwood as having the largest concentration of BNP members the country.
Paul Borg – Hornchurch and Upminster
Borg is a veteran BNP supporter who has stood in a number of local and national elections for the BNP.
This is a conservative seat, where the BNP will be running a campaign aiming its racism at Muslims. In the 2010 general election the BNP came fourth with 6.4% of the vote (3,421 votes).
Julie Lake – Kingswood
Lake’s BNP campaign will be based on anti-immigration, support for the armed forces and “ending political correctness in schools”.
The Conservatives took this Gloucestershire seat from Labour in 2010, following boundary changes. The BNP came fifth with 2.7% of the poll (1,311 votes).
Nicola Finch – Old Bexley and Sidcup
This is the current parliamentary seat of Tory immigration minister James Brokenshire. The BNP’s Finch says that opposition to immigration will be her key election issue.
Finch stood as a council candidate for the BNP in 2010 in the Lesnes Abbey ward. She is also the district treasurer for the BNP.
In 2010, the BNP came fourth in this seat, gaining 4.7% of the vote (2,132 votes).
The English Democrat Party is a right-wing nationalist party with a history of racist rhetoric. It has toned down some of its public statements, although it still attacks multiculturalism and immigrants, who it contrasts with the “indigenous English” – code for “white people”.
The English Democrats have welcomed BNP fascists into their party with open arms and have a track record of standing former BNP candidates under the English Democrat party name. The English Democrats’ efforts are focused on Yorkshire and other areas where the BNP has previously had a base.This time the party is standing 32 candidates, the most notable of whom is longstanding fascist Eddy Butler, in Harlow, Essex.
Butler is a former BNP national organiser and was the architect of its ‘Rights for Whites’ campaign in the 1990s. He later launched a leadership challenge against former BNP führer Nick Griffin.
Butler stood in the constituency for the BNP in 2010, when he came fourth, getting 1,739 votes (4%). He was also political researcher to BNP MEP and longstanding nazi Andrew Brons, who lost his seat last year.
Other English Democrat candidates include notorious internet racist Kim Gandy, who has returned to the party after a flirtation with UKIP, for which she was a Basildon council candidate in 2011. She is standing in Dagenham and Rainham, where the BNP is also standing.
The full list of English Democrat candidates is:
Ian Sutton – Barnsley Central, Kevin David Riddiough – Barnsley East, Jenny Knight – Bath, Neil Humphrey – Berwick-upon-Tweed, Maggi Young – Bexleyheath and Crayford, Therese Hirst – Bradford West, Robin Tilbrook – Brentwood and Ongar, Valerie Morris – Bury South, Tony Holyoak – Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, Kim Gandy – Dagenham and Rainham, Steve Uncles – Dartford, Louise Dutton – Don Valley, David Burnett – Doncaster Central, David Allen – Doncaster North, Graham Moore – Erith and Thamesmead, Gary Butler – Faversham and Mid Kent, Eddy Butler – Harlow, Derek Hilling – Kettering, Steve Paxton – Nuneaton, Colin Porter – Penistone and Stocksbridge, Sharon Pilling – Rother Valley, Dean Walker – Rotherham, Elizabeth Breed – Sheffield Central, Matthew Roberts – Sheffield South East, Justin Saxton – Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough, Steve Clegg – Sheffield Hallam, David Haslett – Sheffield Heeley, Jeremy Moss – Southend West, Charles Vickers – Stevenage, Alan England – Wentworth and Dearne, Clive Lavelle – Weston-Super-Mare, Stephen Morris – Monmouth.
Liberty GB is standing three candidates in the general election. It is the latest incarnation of the British Freedom Party, which was itself formed by leading former BNP members who had fallen out with Nick Griffin – including former webadmin Simon Bennett and former legal officer Lee Barnes.
The BFP went on to launch a tie-up with the EDL in 2011, aimed at creating an electoral wing to match the thugs’ street presence. But the BFP folded after failing to renew its registration with the Electoral Commission.
Paul Weston – Luton South
Former BFP chair and now Liberty GB leader Paul Weston stood as a UKIP candidate in the 2010 general election. He was a close associate of founder members of the EDL and came to prominence as an ideologue on the website Gates of Vienna, a key organising centre for the Islamophobic far right internationally.
Weston claims war between “native Europeans” and Muslims is “inevitable” unless Europe “wakes up to the danger it is in and expels all its Muslims”. He also spews out claims that “the English” are being “ethnically cleansed” by immigration. Weston is proud to call himself a racist and declares that the 21st century will see the “virtual extinction of my white, European race”.
Weston spoke at the recent “Pegida UK” event in Newcastle, a tiny event attended by a mish mash of racists and hardcore fascists – and dwarfed by a superb Newcastle Unites counter-demonstration.
He is standing in Luton, the EDL street thugs’ original base – something that is unlikely to be coincidence.
George Whale – Lewisham West and Penge
George Whale is another early member and leading figure of the BFP, who was involved in establishing its tie-up with the EDL.
Tim Burton – Birmingham Ladywood
Tim Burton is also an EDL favourite, speaking most recently at the its demo in Oxford last week, where the EDL was outnumbered by local antifascists.
The National Front, long a toxic brand even for Britain’s nazis, is standing seven candidates, including two in Scotland and one in Wales.
Richard Edmonds – Carshalton and Wallington
Mike Cooper – Kingston upon Hull East
Bob Batten – North Tyneside
Kevin Alastair Bryan – Rochdale
Christopher Sean Willett – Aberdeen North
Neil McIvor – Linlithgow and East Falkirk
Adam Lloyd – Bridgend
The most prominent of these is the veteran nazi Richard Edmonds, a leading figure in the NF in the 1970s and then in the BNP where he was national organiser and deputy chair, as well as publishing its Holocaust denial material. Edmonds received a jail sentence for a brutal racist attack on a black man with a white girlfriend in east London in 1993. The man was attacked with a glass and left permanently scarred.
BNP splinter group the British Democratic Party is standing one candidate, James Lewthwaite, in Bradford East.