Published on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 16:30 Written by Sonia Gable
Andrew Brons, elected as a British National Party MEP for Yorkshire and The Humber, has today resigned from the BNP. His decision has been a long time coming.
In a statement, Brons likens his resignation to a constructive dismissal of an employee. He continues: “The current Chairman of the rump BNP has described me in a text to his attack dogs as ‘vermin’. More recently, he described me as a ‘state agent’ – a description he attached to me twenty-six years ago but which obviously did not apply when he appointed me as the lead candidate in Yorkshire for the European elections.”
He continues: “I have so far remained within the Rump Party, because I am aware that I was elected because I headed a party list and not because of any personal qualities recognised by the electorate.
“However, it is also clear that 80 or 90% of the Party’s membership, activists and former officials have left it and disappeared in several different directions. The current rump Chairman bears the heavy responsibility for having destroyed the Party of which he is still nominally head.”
Griffin will not be displeased at Brons’s departure. Much of his goading of Brons over the past year has been an attempt to get him to go of his own accord, so avoiding any claims that Griffin pushed him out.
However Brons’s statement does not tell the whole story. Brons has recently been persuaded that the time is now right to form a new party. Talks have been taking place between various “nationalists”, many of whom are former BNP members, some currently in some of the tiny groups that have proliferated on the far right, others not in any party. Several prominent individuals are still debating whether to join.
The new party is expected to be one of two entities already registered with the Electoral Commission that have so far been inactive. Adrian Davies, a barrister who has recently represented people in dispute with the BNP, registered the British Democratic Party on 23 May 2011, with Raymond Heath. And Peter Phillips, an architect and former BNP member, registered True Brits on 24 November 2011, together with Bob Gertner, a veteran former BNP activist from the notorious Croydon branch. Currently True Brits is the more likely.
Whatever it is called, the new party’s first major foray onto the public stage is likely to be the Middlesbrough by-election, which is expected some time in the new year. The seat was held by the Labour MP Sir Stuart Bell, who died on 13 October. He won the seat with a huge majority in the 2010 general election, but the BNP and UK Independence Party polled 5.8% and 3.7% respectively.
Brons’s resignation statement ended: “I shall, of course, continue to promote the policies on which I was elected in debates in the European Parliament and in releases for the British and foreign media.” Likewise, the new party will not stray far from the BNP policy-wise.