The British National Party is fielding around 150 candidates in South East constituencies in next month’s local and mayoral elections. It also has 10 candidates seeking election to the London Assembly, as well as a mayoral candidate, Richard Barnbrook.
One of the BNP’s local election candidates is Jewish councillor Pat Richardson, who is seeking re-election to the Loughton Fairmead ward of Epping Forest District Council. Mrs Richardson, who claims to have had a Jewish upbringing in Stoke Newington, North London, has declared that “the present party is different to the old party”.
In Thurrock, Essex, BNP candidates are standing in all 18 wards. Local organiser Dave Strickson, who was quoted in an interview in 2000 saying he had gone “Paki bashing” and “queer bashing”, will be standing in Aveley and Uplands. Four other family members, Sandra Strickson, Jamie Strickson, Ricky-Lee Strickson and Donna Strickson are also standing in Thurrock.
BNP East of England regional spokesperson Emma Colgate, who is standing in the Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park ward, has stood unsuccessfully as a councillor. She has previously said: “We have no argument with second-and third-generation Asian families who have worked very hard in Britain.”
Also standing in Thurrock is Ken Daly and his wife, Angela, who claim they joined the party after their son was killed in a street fight, to take a stand against a “soft” judicial system.
Derek William Beackon, a former member of the openly fascist British Movement, is standing in Thurrock’s Orsett ward. Mr Beackon hit the headlines after becoming the first BNP councillor when he won a seat in Millwall in 1993. The unemployed bus driver was pictured giving a Nazi salute on the night he won. Before becoming a councillor, he was the BNP’s chief steward, leading the party’s bodyguards.
Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, will also have BNP candidates in every ward. One of these is taxi-driver Ramon Paul Johns, 78, standing in Rye Park. A former local treasurer for the National Front, he has been calling for a white Britain since the 1970s.
Colchester, Essex, will see its first BNP candidate. Patrick Sullivan, 69, who lives in sheltered accommodation, is hoping to win the Highwoods ward. He claimed that within 10 years the ward would be a “non-white area” and maintains that all immigration should be halted.
The National Front is also fielding two candidates in London. Ian Edward is standing in Ealing and Hillingdon, while Tess Culnane is hoping to win the Greenwich and Lewisham seat.