NSD’s leader Alek Yerbury (left) denied all knowledge of irregularity, but Scott Pittsy (centre) quickly pointed the finger at Darren Edmundson (right) of rival outfit Patriotic Alternative for the missing cash
THERE HAS BEEN serious friction down at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, where rival groups are campaigning against government proposals to house asylum-seekers on the former air force base. On the one hand is the original Save Our Scampton group, set up in March, and on the other the RAF Scampton Real Action group organised by the neo-nazi National Support Detachment of Hitler lookalike Alek Yerbury, and its hangers-on.
RAF Scampton is the former base of the Dambusters squadron, and opposition to its use for accommodation has been complicated by the possibility this would scupper plans for a £300 million regeneration project to turn it into a major tourist attraction – and employer for the area. The scheme, including a Red Arrows visitor centre, a heritage trail and a “living aviation” museum, is predicted to draw up to 200,000 visitors a year.
The campaign has seen camps set up at various gates to the base, with Yerbury’s gang setting up a camp in August. But things turned nasty in November when an online GoFundMe appeal, set up by the NSD but expected to fund the campaign generally, was emptied with over £2000 apparently going missing. Thomas Winter, of the SOS campaign, told the local press: “The missing money was supposed to be for the camp … It’s really upsetting, I can’t stand thieves.”
Yerbury denied all knowledge and appeared to suggest there had been fraudulent activity: “As I have had nothing to do with the administration of any of the fundraisers or finances, I am not in full possession of the facts at this point.”
Scott Pittsy, a Leeds-based activist who led a march through Skegness with Yerbury earlier in the year, was in no doubt what had happened. He pointed the finger squarely at Welsh Patriotic Alternative activist Darren Edmundson, the self styled Pembrokeshire Patriot, who in April narrowly escaped a prison spell for breach of a community order.
Pittsy posted on Facebook: “Keep your eyes peeled for this one Darren Edmundson the one who robbed our go fund me money after giving us 1116 from it took the other 1300 hides out at ptsd camp in Bath also ran by a group of clowns it’s just a place to get pissed and smoke there (sic) heads off look it up and see what the reviews say it’s a disgrace use veteran’s as a front and to get donations.”
Pittsy himself was arrested in October following allegations of racially aggravated harassment at the camp gates.
The police concluded that no further action need be taken: the money had been taken from the account by someone authorised to do so, presumably Edmundson – he then popped up in a Pembrokeshire paper claiming he had been exonerated. That did not stop more allegations, albeit largely unsupported by evidence, from being posted by other far-right activists.