West Yorkshire: BNP has left the local election scene

The British National Party is putting up only two candidates in council elections in West Yorkshire on May 3 – down from more than 70 at its peak four years ago.

West Yorkshire was once hailed by the far-right party’s leader Nick Griffin as its “jewel in the crown” at a time when it was able to stand “full slates” contesting every seat in some districts, including Leeds, at Council elections.

At times it had one councillor in Leeds, five in Bradford, three in Kirklees and three in Calderdale.

In 2008 it had 34 candidates in Leeds – one in each of the city’s 33 wards, and one in a by-election.

It had 20 candidates in Kirklees and 12 in Wakefield, nine in Calderdale and one in Bradford where its structure had already collapsed.

Today it is capable of contesting just one ward in Leeds – Middleton Park – and one in Bradford.

At national level the racist party is facing melt-down as its activists have deserted or been expelled, and its finances come under scrutiny.

The BNP made its breakthrough in West Yorkshire in 2003 when it won a Council by-election in Halifax-based Calderdale.

It went on to take two further seats there.

Today it does not have a single councillor on any of the five Councils of West Yorkshire – Leeds, Wakefield, Kirklees, Bradford and Calderdale.

Some of its former Councillors have quit to become independents. Others are standing for other far-right parties such as the English Democrats in Leeds.

The collapse of the BNP follows years of intensive campaigning by anti-racist and anti-fascist groups nationally and locally.

The Hope Not Hate Campaign, and Unite Against Fascism, delivered tens of thousands of leaflets and newspapers during elections in West Yorkshire, exposing the BNP’s extremism and neo-Nazi links.

Simon Cressy, a spokesman for the Hope Not Hate campaign, said: “The BNP was a major threat to social cohesion in Leeds and the rest of West Yorkshire.

“They were met with a widespread campaign against their racism and division. Today they don’t have a single councillor in the county.

“The electorate has shown what it thinks of the BNP.”

From The Yorkshire Evening Post . 11.04.2012

Editorial. It has become clear that the collapse of the BNP in Liverpool is no announcement of a false spring. Reports are manifesting all over the country to the effect that the BNP is in such a parlous state that it cannot field more than a few handfuls of candidates. The fight is not over by any means, and it will not be over until fascism, and every single aspect of its loathsome creed, have been swept into the dustbin of oblivion.

Indeed, the collapse of the BNP now leaves us fighting the National Front, the English Democrats, the British Freedom Party and all the other racists and white supremacists that have come crawling out from under the stone.

Nevertheless, Liveraffers and all other anti-fascists, will be fully justified in feeling a warm glow at bringing one of the most hated political parties in British history to the point of complete meltdown.

Keep fighting comrades. We’re not going to give up our rights as human beings to anyone.

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