| Thursday, 6 May 2004 | Click here for original article
A MEMBER of the Darwen Independents planning to fight for seats at this year's council elections is a former member of the British National Party.
Trevor Maxfield plans to fight for a seat in Earcroft as an independent, but was until recently an organiser for the far-right party. Mr Maxfield, who has also been a Labour party member, said he resigned from the BNP "round about Christmas" after discovering some members had "extreme views."
He said he stepped in after Robin Evans, a former BNP councillor for Mill Hill in Blackburn, who was party organiser for the area, resigned from the party in October over what he described as "organisational differences".
Mr Maxfield said: "I was a member of the BNP, but only for a few months. I took over as organiser after Robin Evans left the party.
"It was at that stage I got to know some of the people involved. I thought most of the local people were quite good but nationally I did not agree with some of the stuff I was hearing."
Darwen Independents say they were formed to represent the town on a non-political basis. They claim Darwen's councillors are hampered by party politics, which puts Blackburn ahead of their home town. Leading Darwen councillors have dismissed the claims.
Michael Johnson, a spokesman for the Darwen Independents said: "We are absolutely nothing to do with the BNP and we will fight them and oppose them anywhere. Like a lot of people Trevor agreed with the BNP on some principles but when it came down to the racism and Nazism, he thought it was all garbage."
Mr Johnson said the Darwen Independents were modelled on a group of local enthusiasts who took seats in Morecambe.