The British National Party is set to lose its only councillor in the UK, after the party failed to stand a candidate to defend the seat.
At its peak, the party, which advocates a halt to all immigration and the abolition of all anti-discrimination laws, had 55 councillors in England in 2008 and won two seats in the European Parliament in 2009 with almost one million votes.
Now, however, the BNP’s only counsellor Brian Parker, councillor for Marsden in Pendle Borough Council, is retiring after 12 years and, with no candidate to replace him, the BNP are set to lose their last form of representation in British politics.
Anti-fascist campaigners have heralded the news as the official demise of the party, with Hope Not Hate founder Nick Lowles celebrating the news.
Speaking to the Huffington Post, Brian Parker said that he was standing down to care for his family but added he is not quitting the BNP, having recently renewed his membership of the fascist party.
THE RISE AND FALL OF THE BNP
- 1982 – BNP founded by white supremacist and neo-Nazi John Tyndall, after splitting from the National Front
- 1983 – BNP contest their first election with 54 candidates – all of which lost their deposits
- 1992 – Neo-Nazi paramilitary group Combat 18 (a reference to Adolf Hitler) created to protect BNP events – they soon start attacking left-wing targets, including the headquarters of the Morning Star, and the party distances themselves from the group the following year
- 1993 – BNP wins its first council seat in a by-election in the Isle of Dogs on a ‘Rights for Whites’ platform
- 1999 – Nick Griffin becomes leader and ‘modernises’ the party, by changing policy from compulsory repatriation to voluntary
- 2006 – BNP double their number of councillors, becoming the second party in Barking and Dagenham council and with YouGov claiming their support stood at 7%
- 2008 – Local election gains bring BNP to their peak number of councillors – 55
- 2009 – BNP win their first (and only) seats in the European Parliament, in Yorkshire and the Humber and North West England – receives over 6% of the vote nationally. The party’s membership peaks at over 12,000 and leader Nick Griffin controversially appears on BBC’s Question Time.
- 2010 – Griffin fails to enter parliament in general election, coming third in Barking and losing all its councillors in the borough, sparking in-fighting in the party
- 2011 – Britain First break away from the BNP
- 2012 – Andrew Brons, former leader of the National Front and BNP MEP, quits the party
- 2014 – Griffin loses his seat in the European Parliament and is beaten in a leadership contest by Adam Walker
- 2015 – BNP fields only eight candidates in general election, down from 338 in 2010
- 2016 – BNP de-registered as a political party, after they failed to complete their annual registration – the party was re-registered a month later. Party has worst result in London mayoral elections, with only 0.5% of vote (Britain First, which broke away five years earlier, gains 1.2%)