BNP fall complete: Racist party can’t find enough candidates to qualify for BBC election broadcast
In 2010, the BNP won 563,743 votes at the General Election, but this year they are struggling to even find candidates
The far-right British National Party is set to lose the right to an election broadcast as it cannot find enough parliamentary candidates, an anti-fascist group has claimed.
Hope Not Hate, which has campaigned against the BNP since its inception in 2004,today said the racist party would fall way short of the 89 candidates needed to qualify for airtime.
The BBC Trust announced that a political party needs to be contesting at least 89 seats in England, 10 in Scotland, seven in Wales or three in Northern Ireland in order to get a party election broadcast.
In 2010, the BNP stood 338 candidates across the UK, with its best result coming in the London seat of Barking where the then-leader Nick Griffin finished third.
Duncan Cahill, a researcher for Hope Not Hate, said “there’s no chance” of BNP putting up 89 candidates for May’s General Election.
He said: “That was five years ago, now they have only got 471 members.
“There’s no far right party in this country that will be able to put up 89 candidates.”
Mr Griffin even appeared on BBC’s flagship discussion show Question Time, a move which prompted mass protests amid claims the party’s views were being “legitimised”.
The divisive party even managed to offend Marmite when it used a jar of the spread during its 2010 election broadcast to show people either ‘loved them or hated them’.
But five years on from the last election, and Mr Griffin has been booted out the party, it no longer has any MEPs and now has just two councillors.
Mr Griffin was also declared bankrupt, and launched his own online cookery show.
BNP’s current leader Adam Walker is a former teacher who was banned life from the profession after verbally abusing three schoolboys, who were between the ages of 10 and 12, chasing them in his car and slashing the tyres on their bikes with a knife.
The rise of UKIP is seen as one of the prime reason for the BNPs demise, with Nigel Farage saying last year he is “proud” to have attracted a third of the party’s voters.
A spokesman for Hope Not Hate added: “Hope not hate expects this to be an annus horriblis for the party of hate.
“It is fracturing into irrelevance, its activists lost to splits and lunatic fringe groups, with core parts of its voting base likely to move over to the ‘respectable’ xenophobia of UKIP.
“Actual membership is down to around 500 people: it used to be in the thousands.
“Although the party’s Twitter and Facebook Pages are still fairly active, this can’t hide the many cracks and its website is a poor imitation of its previous incarnations.”
A spokesman for BNP splinter group Britain First said the Islamophobic organisation would field five candidates in “heavily Muslim areas to give UKIP a clear run” in other seats.
A BNP spokesman said the did not know how many candidates the party would put up, but “I wouldn’t tell the Mirror even if I did”.