A senior British National Party candidate in next month’s elections has resigned following a row over his views on rape, first revealed by the JC, in which he claimed that it could not be “such a terrible physical ordeal”.
Two weeks ago, we linked Nick Eriksen, the party’s London regional organiser, who was second on its candidate list for the London Assembly elections, to the Sir John Bull weblog.
We reported him writing in an August 2005 entry: “To suggest that rape, when conducted without violence, is a serious crime is like suggesting that force-feeding a woman chocolate cake is a heinous offence. A woman would be more inconvenienced by having her handbag snatched.”
This week, the London Evening Standard followed our story by republishing the blog extracts.
The publicity apparently caused dismay among the BNP leadership. Simon Darby, the party’s deputy leader, confirmed that Mr Eriksen had quit. He said: “It was not what he wrote but the way it was taken out of context and distorted.”
Robert Bailey, deputy group leader on Barking and Dagenham council, will now move up the party’s candidate list to replace Mr Eriksen.
In a further development, the BNP’s legal adviser, Lee Barnes, has attacked the JC as “a racist organisation” and claims some of its employees are funding terrorism.
In an article on his blog (leejohn barnes.blogspot.com), following our support of a community-wide campaign to stop the BNP making gains in the local and mayoral elections on May 1, he wrote: “The Jewish Chronicle is the mouthpiece of the same clique of Zionist parasites and crooks that have abused and exploited the British Jewish community for decades.”
He claimed that “the Zionists in…the Jewish Chronicle have always supported Israel above Britain and their relatives have worn the uniform of the IDF not the British Army — they are the Zionist version of Hizbut Tahrir [an Islamic group, banned in several countries], and are a front group for the Zionist Nazis of the extremist Nazi wing of Israeli politics.”
He added that both the JC and the Nazis believed the Jews were the “chosen race” and it was legitimate to use terrorism to hold on to land.
In other posts, Mr Barnes also strongly criticised Gerry Gable, publisher of the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight, as well as the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BOD).
“We all know that Searchlight is…a nest of perverts, rats, reds and crooks,” he wrote. The BOD was referred to as “a clique of self-serving Zionist racists”, and a “Zionist-Nazi organisation”.
Mr Barnes defended his comments and asked why the JC was campaigning against the BNP when “the vast majority of attacks on Jews are perpetrated by Islamist Muslims and Leftists”.
Deputy BNP leader Simon Darby said: “We have a growing Muslim community who probably despise you more than us. The looming problem of an Islamic republic might be of more interest to your readers than us.”
Harriet Harman MP, Labour’s deputy leader, said: “I am urging everyone in London across the Jewish community and beyond to get out to vote on May 1 to make sure the BNP with their nasty politics of divisions and hatred don’t win a seat.”