BNP legal officer quits over 'conscience'

By Jennifer Lipman, August 11, 2010
Lee Barnes

Lee Barnes

The BNP’s senior legal advisor, has resigned because he said the far right party “cannot be trusted with political power”.

Lee Barnes, who has described the JC as "a front group for the Zionist Nazis", was once considered a close ally of party leader Nick Griffin.

Announcing his departure Mr Barnes accused the BNP of covering up “serious allegations of sexual abuse by senior officers” and said he could not in “good conscience” stay on as an officer.

He also said that to his knowledge “the party is now technically insolvent”. He blamed legal “debacles” including the dispute with Unilever over the use of a jar of Marmite in a political broadcast, for the party being “now technically bankrupt”.

Mr Barnes added that “donations to the party have flowed to a trickle as well as party renewals and new inquiries”.

Listing the reasons he could not remain as legal officer, Lee Barnes accused the BNP of expelling members who ask for financial transparency and refusing to protect its officers from threats of violence.

Mr Barnes also revealed infighting within the BNP organisation involving Nick Griffin and called for the creation of “an internal ‘BNP Reconciliation Committee’” for members to discuss their grievances.

He made the announcement on his blog, a a platform he has used to attack the JC as “a racist organisation” and the “the mouthpiece of [a] clique of Zionist parasites and crooks”. In one post in 2008 he wrote that the JC is “the Zionist version” of Islamic group Hizbut Tahrir.

Mr Barnes also once described the beating of a black suspect by police officers as “brilliant”.

Nick Griffin announced he would stand down from the BNP leadership in 2013, and last month Simon Darby, the party’s deputy leader, also stood down

The BNP won 560,140 votes at the 2010 elections – an upwards swing from 2005 of 1.2 per cent, but failed to secure any parliamentary seats.

    Last updated: 10:08am, August 11 2010