British Democratic Party (2013)

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British Democratic Party
Chairman Andrew Brons
Founded 9 February 2013 (9 February 2013)
Headquarters Loughborough, Leicestershire
Ideology British nationalism,
Euroscepticism,
Souverainism,
Right-wing populism,
British unionism,
Political position Far-right
Colours             
Website
http://www.britishdemocrats.org.uk/
Politics of United Kingdom
Political parties
Elections

The British Democratic Party, commonly known as the British Democrats, is a British far-right political party. It was launched in 2013 in a village hall in Leicestershire by a ten-member steering committee which included former members of several political parties including the British National Party (BNP), Democratic Nationalists, Freedom Party and UK Independence Party (UKIP).[1]

The party's inaugural president was Andrew Brons, a then Member of the European Parliament (MEP).[1] Brons had been a member of the BNP and a leading member of the National Front (NF). The steering committee included a number of others with a history of membership in fascist and neo-Nazi groups,[2] who believed that the BNP had been corrupted and watered-down.[1]

History

Brons resigned from the BNP in October 2012, after a failed campaign to unseat Nick Griffin as leader of the party in 2011. A number of other disillusioned BNP members have joined him, including Kevin Scott, founder and director of Civil Liberty, who is acting as the interim chairman of the BDP, and who used to be a party organiser for the British National Party in the North East. Other prominent members of the party include:

  • Adrian Davies, a longstanding critic of Griffin and a former Conservative member and former Freedom Party chairman, who wrote the party's constitution and registered the party name,
  • John Bean, the former editor of the British National Party magazine Identity,
  • James Lewthwaite, a former Bradford councillor, who along with others established the Democratic Nationalists in 2010, and who stood for the Democratic Nationalists,[3]
  • Julian Leppert, who had been a councillor in London Borough of Redbridge and stood for London Mayor for the British National Party,[4][5] and
  • Andrew Moffat, a former UKIP parliamentary candidate,[6] who worked with Andrew Brons in the European Parliament[1]

Colin Liddell, on the website Alternative Right, commented on the party launch, saying that "people feel betrayed and resentful about the direction the country has been taken in". He adds further that "quite simply an enormous political vacuum is developing.... The real hope for Britain lies in the foundation of the British Democratic Party, a new party formed by nationalists who have finally moved out of the shadow caused by the collapse into irrelevance of the BNP".[7] Mark Cotterill's far-right publication Heritage and Destiny affirmed the creation of the party, saying that it "welcomes the creation of the BDP and looks forward to reporting on further positive developments very soon",[8] and that as "the death of the BNP is confirmed ...[it is time]... to make a new start with Andrew Brons MEP and the British Democratic Party."[9]

Nick Lowles, of Hope not Hate, believes the party will be a serious threat to the BNP. "The BDP brings together all of the hardcore Holocaust deniers and racists that have walked away from the BNP over the last two to three years, plus those previously, who could not stomach the party’s image changes.... They and the BNP already have a mutual hatred of each other and neither party will stop until they’ve killed the other one off. The gloves will be off and it will be toxic".[1] Mathew Collins, also of Hope not Hate, predicted that the party would espouse policies of scientific racism and Holocaust denial, ideas from which the BNP, under Griffin, distanced themselves.[1]

Leaders

Year Name Period Time in office Deputy leader/s
2013 Andrew Brons 9 February 2013 – present incumbent

Policies

The British Democrats support putting the reintroduction of the death penalty to a referendum/people's vote.

They are committed to "ending all immigration" and wish to repeal laws that they perceive as mandating preferential treatment for immigrants and ethnic minorities.[10]

The party wishes to withdraw the UK from the European Union, citing the cost and what it sees as a lack of democracy within EU institutions.[10]

Electoral performance

The party fielded three candidates in the 2013 English County Council elections:[11] two in north Leicestershire and one in Pendle, Lancashire. In Leicestershire, the party polled 215 votes (7.4%) in Coalville and 206 votes (7.4%) in Loughborough South,[12] while in Lancashire it polled 133 (4.0%).[13]

In a by-election for the Loughborough Hastings ward of Charnwood Borough Council on 24 October 2013, the British Democrats polled 85 votes (9.4%).[14]

The party did not contest the May 2014 European Parliament election, but stood candidates in the local elections: two in Bradford,[15] one in Leeds,[16] three in Newcastle-upon-Tyne[17] and one in the London Borough of Redbridge.[18]

In a by-election for the Thurmaston Ward of Charnwood Borough Council on 31 July 2014, the British Democrats polled 94 votes (5.1%) beating the BNP into fifth place with 58 votes (3.2%)[19]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Collins, Matthew (8 February 2013). "Neo-Nazi former BNP members launch new far-right party". New Statesman. Retrieved 8 February 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Ray Mount, "British Democratic Party launches and promises it will belong to its members", Searchlight, 1 March 2013
  3. "James Lewthwaite". Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 22 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Mount, Ray (1 March 2013). "British Democratic Party launches and promises it will belong to its members". Searchlight. Retrieved 16 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Successful British Democratic Party London Launch 30.05.13". British Democratic Party. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Corbett, Richard (Autumn 2004). "25 things you didn't know when you voted for UKIP" (PDF). Richard Corbett. Retrieved 3 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Liddell, Colin (26 February 2013). "The Launch of the BDP". Retrieved 3 July 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Building a new party". Heritage and Destiny. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "November elections signal death of BNP". Heritage and Destiny. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 "British Democratic Party". Retrieved 2 February 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Election preview 2013". Heritage and Destiny. 5 April 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
    - Newsnight (10 April 2013). BBC.
  12. "Election Results Leicestershire County Council 2013". Leicestershire County Council. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Election Results 2013, Lancashire County Council.
  14. "Double success for Labour in Loughborough and Shepshed by-elections", Leicester Mercury, 25 October 2013
  15. Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Statement of persons nominated
  16. Leeds City Council, Statement of persons nominated
  17. Newcastle City Council, Statement of persons nominated
  18. London Borough of Redbridge, Hainault ward accessible from Statement of nominated persons
  19. Charnwood Borough Council: Declaration of result of poll

External links

Further reading