| Saturday, 5 February 2005 Source: Searchlight
The BNP announced its general election candidates for London and the Home Counties at its "Grand London Rally" on 29 January, after opposition in the form of the newly formed Redbridge Together group forced the fascists to flee a long way out of London (see http://www.stopthebnp.com/index.php?location=news&art=187). After meeting at Redbridge Underground station, where they were confronted with a wide range of representatives of Redbridge's diverse community, the BNP set up camp in the New World Hotel outside Brentwood, which they had booked only by conning the management that they were an ex-servicemen's group.
Around 100-120 members and hangers-on were present, the hangers-on providing the muscle for the day. The platform party consisted of Alan Bailey, the convicted criminal from Havering, in the chair; Jason Douglas, the twice convicted football lout from Redbridge; Jonathan Bowden, very late of the Tory fringe group the Monday Club; councillor Terry Farr from Epping Forest District Council; Richard Barnbrook from south London, the BNP's London organiser; Eddy Butler, the BNP's elections officer from Loughton; and Nick Griffin, the party leader, as keynote speaker.
The audience were also wowed by a speech by 14-year-old Sarah Caine, certainly more Cain than Able in her very nasty approach to life and politics.
It fell to Douglas to announce the candidates. The list certainly contained some shocks for BNP members and it was unclear whether all the people named had been fully consulted about their candidatures.
Barnbrook appears to have backed off from a fight with the staunch anti-fascist Labour MP Jon Cruddas in Dagenham, leaving the constituency to Lawrence Rustem, the man described as "that half Turk" by his fellow members. Rustem seems to have so little respect that Barnbrook cannot be bothered to spell his name correctly on the BNP website, where it appears as Rustrem.
Barnbrook himself will now challenge the Education Secretary Margaret Hodge in Barking, which the BNP has chosen as its London target seat.
Cliff Le May will not now fight Croydon Central as previously planned after some local difficulty arose for the former BNP organiser Bob Gertner since he spoke to the Daily Mirror after the BNP's Christmas Party, in which a black DJ had provided the entertainment. Le May has been pushed out west to Uxbridge.
Emma Colgate will fight Basildon, Julian Leppert from Redbridge, the BNP's candidate for London mayor last June, will fight Epping, while Farr, one of the BNP's three councillors in Epping, has been farmed out to Enfield North. Douglas will stand in Romford, where he doubtless hopes his hooligan credentials will attract the "Essex man" vote. Tim Rait will try his luck in Maidenhead, Berkshire.
Barry Roberts, a man with a long-time nazi background, will fight Eltham, where nazis have a long history of activity, and Tony Hazel will fight Hayes and Harlington. Ian Moore will fight John Cryer in Hornchurch and councillor Pat Richardson, another person whose ethnic background has made her not universally popular in the BNP, is down as a candidate but has so far not found a constituency.
All these candidates dutifully attended the rally and lined up, mostly in their suits, for a photograph together. The rest were absent, and there could be more than one reason for this.
Dave King is listed to fight Billericay in Essex, despite the recent huge bust-up between him and both Tony Lecomber, who has a major say in who gets picked to stand in elections, and Griffin. The dispute arose after Griffin and Lecomber apparently insisted King appoint Peter Eaton as a BNP organiser in Essex, whereupon Eaton defected to the openly nazi British Nazi Party, also known as the November 9th Society, whose leader Kevin Quinn appeared in court in January on serious charges. Is King really so weak that he will cave in to people he intrinsically dislikes?
Nick Geri, who was briefly a BNP councillor in Thurrock, will stand there for the parliamentary seat, still up for the fight after being shafted by the party in the run-up to last June's council elections.
Chris Roberts, brother of Barry, will stand for Upminster and Brian Ravenscroft for Erith and Thamesmead. Jay Lee, who sued his trade union, will stand for Bexleyheath and Crayford, while his wife Clare, will fight Old Bexley and Sidcup if Tess Culnane fails to stand. Members were certainly puzzled at the mention of Culnane as she is a regular speaker for the expelled former BNP leader John Tyndall.