Stoke BNP Member Claims His Party Is Finished

I recently asked a senior figure in Stoke BNP if he thought his party was finished for good in our city. He looked me straight in the eye and replied: “I think we are Tone yes”.

He went on to explain that his party had self destructed and imploded in the past two years and he laid the blame firmly and squarely at the doorstep of BNP Leader Nick Griffin.

The story did not get better for the far right party as this activist said that the recent election campaign received no party funding what so ever.

I was told that the BNP would never come back from this low point and that all the fight had gone out of the membership. The party insider revealed that they had really struggled to attract any candidate of quality.

It had cost some candidates in the region of £750 to fund and fight the campaign.

“We just could not compete with the Labour Party and they just smashed us!

“They were really organised this time especially in the centre of the city ““ colour leaflets and telephone campaigning, they knocked the doors en masse and they got their voters out on polling day.

“I don’t know where the BNP go from here, there is no enthusiasm, and we haven’t met since election night.

“Activists aren’t to blame that’s for sure, we have seen a drop in members, some activist have gone off to join other nationalist parties. It’s all down to Nick Griffin.”

This dejected BNP member told of his anger at the way Griffin his running the party.

It appears that if you question the BNP leadership you get an black mark against your name and before you know it you are out of the party.

Griffin is holding on the all the available funds and party activists are left high and dry and are having to fund party expenses themselves.

Many BNP members believe that Griffin his hanging onto the purse strings to fund his, and Andrew Brons’s next European Election campaign.

The Stoke BNP member believes that if Griffin is successful in getting re-elected to the European Parliament then, and only then will he relinquish the chairmanship of the party.

“It’s all down to money with Griffin Tone, He has his entourage to pay for and we believe he employs his wife and his daughter out of his European expenses.

“He is doing all right and we are struggling to fight a campaign against the might of the Labour Party machine.

“I just want to serve as I always have, but everything you do is futile without any party funding to help get leaflets delivered.

“I just wonder where all the money has gone, but it’s no good questioning anything either, only the chosen few know the true picture.

“In four years time we will have a general election to fight alongside the local elections. With people getting fed up and moving on you wonder if we will be able to fight either election.

“The morale is at rock bottom in the party. People are asking if there is any point meeting and if there is anything that we as a group can do anyway.

“This city has four years of Labour to contend with and I’m not sure if the BNP has enough to scrutinise from outside the chamber”.

BNP Leader Nick Griffin claimed nearly £300,000 for his first year as a MEP. This has led to accusations about him jumping aboard the gravy train that he and his party were so outspoken about.

He is yet to answer just how much of his income he has donated to the British National Party.

It has been a spectacular fall from grace both in this city and nationally for the BNP.

At the height of their popularity in 2008 they had 55 councillors nationwide and 9 in here in Stoke-on-Trent.

Now in 2011 they have just 12 councillors across the country and here in this city they have been wiped out of the chamber.

The far right party defended 12 council seats across the country but held on to just 2.

With things as bad as the senior Stoke BNP member paints it, you really do wonder if this is the end for the BNP.

Nationalist parties seem to have been rejected unilaterally by the electorate locally and across the country.

In 2010 the England First Party fielded candidates against the BNP in Stoke. In 2011 they had an agreement not to stand against each other. Out of 16 far right candidates fighting the City Council elections, none were successful.

Of 74,321 votes cast in the Stoke-on-Trent local elections, just 3,690 went to “Ëœnationalist’ candidates.

Politics is often like music and fashion trends, something is fashionable and popular only to fade away and then without warning it is back again. The same could be said about the politics of the far right.

Opponents of the far right, organisations like Searchlight, Unite Against Fascism, Hope Not Hate and NorSCARF will not drop their guard.

They know better than most that just because the BNP, England First Party, EDL and the English Democrats have been forced into being dormant, it does not mean that they have gone away altogether.

The problem for far right parties and in particular the BNP, is when their own supporters believe that they are finished it is very difficult for their party leaders to convince them otherwise.

Former Stoke-on-Trent City Council Leader Resigns From Labour Party

Former leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council Barry Stockley has resigned from the Labour Party.

He has also revealed that he will not be standing in the upcoming local elections and has pledged his support for his former colleague and official Labour Party candidate Terry Crowe.

Two separate sources had claimed that Mr Stockley was 99.9% certain to stand, the only question was the ward he chose to stand in.

It is now thought that certain political activists has presumed that Mr Stockley would stand upon announcing his resignation from the Labour Party.

Other sources are claiming that Mr Stockley’s name was used to boost the campaigns of certain former prominent Labour Party members as they seek election to the council in May.

Barry’s decision has ended his 32 year relationship with the Labour Party.

Mr Stockley has written the following letter to his friends, colleagues and supporters clarifying his position:

Former Chair Stoke Central Labour Party and Assistant to Mark Fisher MP

March 2011

Dear Friends

City Council Elections 5th May 2011

It is well known that for some time now I have been concerned about the unwarranted interference by Labour Party officials from outside our City into the running of Stoke-on-Trent City Council and the selection of candidates for the forthcoming City Council elections.

This interference may well have contributed to the way that the Labour dominated City Council has dealt with its budgetary problems ““ voting to reduce funding for children’s centres by £2.25 million, voting to close Shelton Pool, voting to close more care homes for the elderly, voting to close Willfield Community Centre and voting to slash the funding for child and adolescent mental health services whilst at the same time wasting vast sums of money on unnecessary consultancy fees and dodgy Icelandic investments.

I have therefore resigned my membership of the Labour Party which stretches back to 1979

Whilst I shall not be standing as a candidate at the City Council elections I would urge you to seek an assurance from any candidate that asks for your support that he/she will stand up for our area and consider the needs of our community before any instruction from a political hierarchy or political group.

It is not for me to tell you how to vote but I shall be voting for Terry Crowe – not because he is the Labour Party candidate but because he has proved over many years that he is a man of the highest integrity, strong enough to challenge instructions from unelected officials and will always put the needs of our community first. .

Yours sincerely

Barry Stockley

Mr Stockley’s letter urges the electorate to seek assurances that any candidate seeking election will stand up for the area and consider the needs of thr community.

His concerns are ironically mirrored in the recent blog post http://www.pitsnpots.co.uk/blog/2011/03/stoke-trent-needs-committed-councillors-not-activists-grudge.

It is obvious that Barry Stockley had his differences with the Labour Party in recent times, but in all the time I have known him, I have never heard him say a bad word about any fellow party member. Likewise, I have never heard a Labour Party member say a bad word about Barry.

Differences?…. obviously. Mutual respect?….absolutely!

Stoke-on-Trent Central CLP Reject Sutton – Sutton Rejects The Lib Dems!

Stoke-on-Trent CLP have rejected a membership application from current Liberal Democrat Councillor Dave Sutton.

Cllr Sutton was suspended from the Labour Party for 5 years for standing as a Liberal Democrat. That suspension expires in May 2010. Cllr Sutton has hit out at the Labour Party and the Labour Group on the City Council for rejecting his application. He also attacked the Liberal Democrats for their lack of support regarding his election to the City Council and the controversial count which led to Eve Maley lodging a complaint and instigating a legal process which eventually ended in failure. He Confirmed that he will not stand for the Liberal Democrats in the future and that he has not renewed his party membership. [Listen to the audio interview below]

It is understood that the Labour Party have rejected his application because his suspension still has nine months to run. This would however, prevent Cllr Sutton standing as a Labour Candidate in the 2010 all out council elections.

Councillor Mohammed Pervez, leader of the Labour Group dismissed claims that Cllr Sutton was ‘blacklisted’ from joining the Labour Party. [Listen to the audio interview below]

Liberal Democrat leader Kieran Clarke has been aware that Cllr Sutton was trying to get back into the Labour Party but confirmed that he is welcome to stay with the Liberal Democrat. [Listen to the audio interview below]

Cllr Sutton now intends to stand as a non aligned councillor in next years council elections. Subject to the Boundary Committee review, he is considering standing in the Sandyford or Tunstall ward.

A New Look To Stoke-on-Trent Labour Group.

Following a meeting of the Labour Group on Stoke-on-Trent City Council it has emerged that Cllr Mohammed Pervez [Burslem South] will continue as Group Leader.

Pervez saw off a challenge by Cllr Adrian Knapper [Berryhill & Hanley East] at last night’s AGM. Cllr Tom Reynolds [Longton North] is the new Deputy Leader. Cllr Sarah Hill [Fenton] is the new Group Whip.

Last nights meeting was the first since the election.

The Labour Party in Stoke-on-Trent gained 12 Council seats to boost their ranks from 14 to 26 Councillors. They are now the biggest Group on the Council by a considerable margin.

The City Independent Group have 11 Councillors, The Conservative & Independent Alliance have 7, the British National Party have 5, the Liberal Democrats have 4. There are currently 3 non-aligned councillors, but one of them, Cllr Mike Barnes is expected to join the Non-Aligned Group who have 2 councillors following the defeat of Alan Joynson. There is one Libertarian Councillor. Stoke-on-Trent City Council Stoke-on-Trent  Central Constituency Labour Party will hold an AGM in the next few weeks to elect new officers following some high profile resignations.

The Regional Officers had declared the pre-election AGM null and void. Sources indicate that there will be no shortage of willing volunteers now that the Labour Group have swelled the number of their councillors in the Central Constituency from 2 to 8.

Newly elected Labour Member of Parliament Tristram Hunt has also stated publicly that he wants to unite the constituency and to bring ex members back to the fold.