Brexit Party struggling in by-elections

Nigel Farage – new party, same old problems

The Liberal Democrats have won yesterday’s parliamentary by-election in the rural Welsh constituency Brecon & Radnorshire, further worsening the parliamentary arithmetic for new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, making it less likely that he can achieve Brexit without a general election.

Brecon & Radnorshire was also bad news for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, whose candidate was a distant third with 10.5%. A crumb of comfort for Farage was UKIP’s embarrassment at finishing bottom of the poll with 0.7%, behind even the ‘Monster Raving Loony Party’!

Regular H&D readers will be very familiar with our long-running analyses of UKIP’s poor performance in local by-elections, which indicated a long time ago that the party was in big trouble.

Now of course UKIP is dead, and is widely seen to have been superseded by the Brexit Party, founded earlier this year by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

The Brexit Party achieved extraordinarily good results at this year’s European Parliamentary elections: 30.5% of the nationwide vote, electing 29 MEPs – easily the largest UK party at that election.

The jury is still out as to whether the election of self-proclaimed Hard Brexiteer Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and (for the time being at least) Prime Minister will end Farage’s adventure.

What does seem clear is that (like UKIP before it) the Brexit Party is struggling to turn its potential support into actual votes in local or Westminster (as opposed to European) elections.

Last week in Gloucester the Brexit Party contested two city council elections for the first time. The good news for Farage is that his party finished way ahead of UKIP. The bad news is that they finished a poor third in one and fourth in the other.

In Podsmead ward – exactly the sort of White working-class estate where the Brexit Party ought to be threatening Labour (according to many pundits) they were fourth with 16.4% (UKIP polled just 1.6%). Labour did indeed lose the seat – but to the very pro-EU Liberal Democrats, not to Farage.

In a very different part of Gloucester, Barnwood ward – equally White but far more affluent – the Brexit Party finished third with 10.5% (UKIP managed a microscopic 0.4%). Again the Liberal Democrats gained the seat, this time from the Tories.

And tonight the Brexit Party has finished a distant third in its second attempt at a parliamentary by-election. The Liberal Democrats are again the winners, but perhaps the more important story is that the Tory candidate – despite having been convicted of a criminal offence, causing this by-election in the first place – finished well ahead of the Brexit Party candidate.

It’s too early to talk about a crisis for Farage, but just a couple of months after his great Euro-election triumph, the Brexit Party is badly in need of a good result somewhere. As things stand, Boris Johnson must be tempted to call a general election – at which Farage could be sunk without trace.

Winners and losers as Europe’s populist tide ebbs and flows

Leading figures in ‘The Movement’, an alliance of European populists – (left to right) former Trump adviser Steve Bannon; Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini; and Brussels-based Jewish lawyer Mischael Modrikamen

While Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party celebrated big victories in this week’s European elections, the much-advertised populist breakthrough proved to be at best a patchy affair.

Predictably the big populist winners included Italy‘s deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, whose anti-immigration Lega party topped the polls with 34.3% and 29 seats – a huge increase on their 6.2% and five seats in 2014, when the party was known as Lega Nord (Northern League).

Also continuing to advance were the nationalist-conservative governing parties in Poland and Hungary.

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party are suspended from the European conservative group EPP, but Orban had the last laugh this week. While most European conservative parties are in crisis, Fidesz increased their support to 52.3%, up from 51.5% in 2014.

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban was among the big winners at this year’s Euro-elections

A very radical nationalist party polled exceptionally well in Slovakia. Marian Kotleba’s People’s Party Our Slovakia – a party that stands staunchly in the tradition of Slovakia’s wartime leader Monsignor Jozef Tiso – gained two MEPs after polling 12.1% (up from 1.8% in 2014).

By contrast some previously successful populist and anti-Islam parties suffered poor results. The once-influential Dutch Freedom Party led by Geert Wilders was wiped out, losing all four of their MEPs and polling 3.5% (down from 13.2% in 2014).

Also badly beaten was the Danish People’s Party who lost three of their four MEPs after their vote fell from 26.6% to 10.7%. Voters in Denmark showed the strongest evidence of a trend also witnessed in some other European countries: an anti-populist backlash with increased turnouts among previously apathetic voters.

Marine Le Pen, once Europe’s most successful anti-immigration politician, has been to some extent eclipsed by her Italian ally Salvini, but Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) – previously the National Front (FN) – again topped the poll in France with 23.3% (slightly down from the FN’s 24.9% in 2014). The more ‘moderate’ French eurosceptic party France Arise (DLF) led by Farage’s main French ally Nicolas Dupont-Aignan fell below the 5% threshold to obtain MEPs. DLF polled 3.5% (down from 3.8% under an earlier party name in 2014).

Marine Le Pen (leader of the renamed French National Front) stayed top of the polls, but her ally Geert Wilders saw his Dutch Freedom Party wiped out.

Le Pen’s former FN vice-president Florian Philippot broke away in September 2017 to form a splinter party called The Patriots, mainly on the European issue: unlike Le Pen he wants France to leave the European Union. Philippot’s party polled only 0.7% despite seeking to appropriate the name of the anti-establishment “yellow vest” street protestors.

Having lost one of her main European parliamentary allies with the demise of Geert Wilders’ Dutch Freedom Party, Le Pen will have been greatly cheered by the landslide gains for the Flemish nationalists Vlaams Belang. In simultaneous Belgian regional, parliamentary and European elections, VB’s young leader Tom Van Grieken (elected in 2014 as a 28-year-old) succeeded in turning round the party’s fortunes.

VB now have 18 seats in the Belgian Parliament (up from 3 in 2014) and three MEPs (up from one in 2014).

The other important Le Pen ally is the Austrian Freedom Party, who managed to hold on 18.1% (down from 19.7% in 2014) despite a financial scandal that has destroyed the career of party leader and former Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache. In fact these European elections pale into insignificance against the background of Austria’s political crisis, which has now brought down the government and provoked a general election to be held in September.

Rather than consistent populist/nationalist success, the main event of this year’s European elections in most of the continent was a dramatic increase in turnout: up from 42.2% to 50.1% in France; from 48.1% to 61.4% in Germany; and from 43.8% to 64.3% in Spain.

Golden Dawn supporters rally outside the Greek Parliament

The new Spanish anti-immigration party Vox elected three MEPs for the first time after polling 6.2% (up from 1.6% in 2014 but down from 10.3% at this year’s general election).

In Germany the civic nationalist and anti-immigration party AfD (Alternative for Germany) polled 4.1m votes (11.0%), up from 2.1m votes (7.1%) in 2014, increasing their tally of MEPs from seven to eleven.

One side-effect of AfD’s success was the defeat of the long-established German nationalist party NPD, who polled 101,000 votes (0.3%), down from 301,000 votes (1.0%) in 2014. The NPD’s sole MEP Udo Voigt consequently lost his seat. Two smaller German nationalist parties also contested the Euro-election. Die Rechte polled 25,000 votes for a slate headed by 90-year-old author and historical justice campaigner Ursula Haverbeck, who is presently serving a prison sentence for “holocaust denial”. The III Path (Dritte Weg) polled 13,000 votes.

Greek national socialist party Golden Dawn lost one of their three MEPs after polling 4.8%, down from 9.4% in 2014 (though in contrast to some populist parties Golden Dawn is disproportionately strong among young voters). Their Maltese counterparts Imperium Europa, a national socialist party led by Norman Lowell, polled 3.2%, up from 2.8% in 2014.



Sinn Fein struggle both sides of border

A big win for the Democratic Unionist Party: (left to right) DUP leader Arlene Foster, Diane Dodds MEP who won this week’s Euro-election, and her husband Nigel Dodds MP, DUP deputy leader.

After many years of political advances Sinn Fein (political wing of the terrorist IRA) has suffered setbacks on both sides of the Irish border in this week’s European elections. Some Sinn Fein candidates are already hinting that the results threaten the position of party leader Mary Lou McDonald.

Results from the Irish Republic are still being counted, but Sinn Fein has already lost local council seats across the country and has slipped back in the three Euro-constituencies, losing votes both to the Greens and to assorted left-wing independents.

Meanwhile in Ulster, Sinn Fein has lost votes among liberal, middle-class Catholics to the cross-community Alliance Party whose leader Naomi Long has achieved her party’s best ever result.

The biggest loser in Northern Ireland was Danny Kennedy of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), once known as the ‘Official Unionists’. The UUP has taken a pro-Remain stance, but pro-Remain Unionists seem to have defected en masse to the Alliance Party.

The pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party has won its best European Parliamentary result since 2004, with Diane Dodds elected first after transfers.

The new socially conservative Catholic party Aontu didn’t field candidates in the European elections.


Big gains for Farage on mixed night for Europe’s ‘populists’

British voters decisively rejected the political establishment at the European elections. Results announced overnight showed that Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party took 32% of the vote and 28 MEPs, while Theresa May’s Conservative Party was reduced to just three MEPs, polling just 9%.

Farage crushed his old party UKIP, whose leader Gerard Batten lost his own seat in London, where UKIP polled only 2.1% losing their deposit.

Batten wasn’t the biggest loser in these elections: that honour went to former EDL leader ‘Tommy Robinson’. Standing as an independent in North West England, ‘Robinson’ lost his deposit with only 2.2% despite a very high-profile campaign with his trademark street violence and anti-Islam rhetoric.

‘Robinson’ has been exposed as full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

By contrast Farage will now be considering how to transform the Brexit Party into a genuine political party able to contest the next general election. British politics might never be the same again.

Leading figures in ‘The Movement’, an alliance of European populists – (left to right) former Trump adviser Steve Bannon; Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini; and Brussels-based Jewish lawyer Mischael Modrikamen

Meanwhile across Europe there were mixed results for anti-immigration parties. The biggest winner so far seems to be Matteo Salvini’s Lega who topped the poll in Italy with 34%; while among the losers was the anti-Islamist Dutch Freedom Party headed by Geert Wilders – they lost all four of their MEPs after polling 3.5%, down from 13.2% in 2014.

H&D will publish a full analysis of the results for anti-immigration and pro-nationalist parties across Europe as full results become available later today.

Former Soros hedge fund manager Robert Rowland – now a Brexit Party MEP

There will be some confusion among staff at Hope not Hate and other recipients of largesse from George Soros. Last night Robert Rowland, who managed about $1bn of hedge fund assets while working for Soros Fund Management from 1996 to 2003, has just been elected alongside Nigel Farage as a Brexit Party MEP for South East England.

A small sign of UKIP’s terminal decline was in Burnley, one of the very few towns where the party has a viable branch and a group of elected councillors. Yet even here the party was evidently not represented at the count, where a blatant error seems to have been made by the Returning Officer. It seems obvious to H&D that a bundle of 500 votes was misallocated by Burnley counting staff to the tiny pro-Remain UKEUP rather than to UKIP: to anyone with political experience, the reported result in Burnley looks obviously wrong. This is the sort of error that potentially could have cost UKIP £5,000 – but no party representative was on hand to correct it!

German lawyer arrested again: faces 18 months in jail

(left to right) Günter Deckert, Sylvia Stolz, and Lady Michèle Renouf following the release of Frau Stolz from a prison sentence in April 2011: today she was again imprisoned.

German lawyer Sylvia Stolz was arrested again today for what George Orwell would have called ‘thought crimes’ – in the supposedly ‘democratic’ Federal Republic.

Her ‘offence’ is to have given a speech in Switzerland in 2012 where she spoke about her earlier conviction in 2008 for offences against Germany’s notorious ‘Paragraph 130’ law that forbids discussion of or research into forbidden historical topics.

Sylvia Stolz was imprisoned from 2008 to 2011. For her speech in Switzerland she was convicted again in February 2015 and sentenced to 20 months imprisonment, later reduced on appeal to 18 months.

It is this 18 month sentence that she must now serve following today’s arrest.

Less than two weeks ago the host of the Swiss conference where Sylvia Stolz gave her ‘offending’ speech – religious broadcaster and author Ivo Sasek – was represented at an alternative media conference in the Bundestag (Germany’s federal parliament in Berlin) held by the civic nationalist party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).

Despite the climate of fear engendered by ‘liberal dictatorships’ across Europe (seen at its worst in Germany), voters in this week’s European elections are set to defy political elites.

Not only AfD but a host of anti-establishment parties are set to win seats in the European Parliament. Voters in the UK went to the polls today, but because most countries do not vote until Sunday, there will be no counting until Sunday night and Monday morning.

This website will bring up to date coverage and analysis of results as they are declared. The present May-June edition of H&D contains a detailed analysis of the many different populist or nationalist parties standing in different European countries; the July-August edition will have reports on the results and on the widening division between Europeans and their rulers.

Sensational gain for For Britain’s Julian Leppert

For Britain’s Julian Leppert has won the Waltham Abbey Paternoster ward in Epping Forest with more than 40% of the vote.

H&D subscriber Julian Leppert won Waltham Abbey Paternoster with 40.7% of the vote, almost 100 votes ahead of the second-placed Conservative. This is one of the best nationalist election results ever, all the better against a background where the movement is in disarray. Former BNP councillor Pat Richardson finished runner-up in Waltham Abbey Honey Lane ward with 23%.

In Cliffsend and Pegwell ward, Thanet, former BNP candidate Michael Barnbrook (not related to former GLA member Richard Barnbrook) polled 14.4% for For Britain.

Julian Leppert (above right) – elected yesterday as a For Britain councillor in Epping Forest – seen here with controversial columnist Katie Hopkins.

For Britain also gained a seat from Labour in De Bruce ward, Hartlepool, while in Crewe North, Cheshire East, parish councillor Brian Silvester (a former Tory who defected from UKIP to For Britain) finished runner-up with 297 votes (30.7%).

By contrast in Stoke-on-Trent their only defending councillor Richard Broughan (who had defected to FB from UKIP) finished bottom of the poll with 7.7%; in Exeter the sole For Britain candidate was again bottom of the poll; and in Salford they polled only 3.9%. The obvious lesson is that a well-organised campaign pays dividends. Also there can undoubtedly be a problem where even a well-organised party branch is up against a better known ‘brand name’. For Britain’s candidate in Temple Newsam ward, Leeds, finished bottom of the poll with just 2.5% to UKIP’s 14.0%.

Jamie Rushworth in Town ward, Calderdale – won fifteen years ago by the BNP’s Halifax organiser Adrian Marsden – finished a respectable third for For Britain with 12.0%. Similarly Liam Robinson polled 12% as For Britain candidate in Darwen South ward, Blackburn with Darwen. In Great Barr with Yew Tree ward, Sandwell, Lorraine Binsley polled 12.9% for For Britain; while in Maryport South ward, Allerdale, H&D patron Dave King polled 11.1%.

The Democrats & Veterans party that broke away from UKIP has won two seats in Barnsley – another outstanding result. In Holme Valley South ward, Kirklees, an energetic D&V campaign produced a strong third place with 14.1%, pushing UKIP into last place with 5.8%. Other D&V results included Graham Doherty’s 11.6% in Longdendale ward, Tameside.

Julian Leppert celebrates his election win with For Britain leader Anne Marie Waters and members of his campaign team.

Meanwhile in Sheffield both D&V and the National Front were overshadowed by UKIP (even though the latter failed to win any seats). NF deputy chairman Jordan Pont polled 0.8% in East Ecclesfield ward, compared to UKIP’s 19.8%. In the parallel election for Ecclesfield parish council, where he had no UKIP opposition, Mr Pont’s result was more than ten times better: here he polled 8.5% of votes cast.

In Wyke ward, Bradford, Dr Jim Lewthwaite of the British Democrats achieved an excellent second place with 701 votes (24.5%). His fellow British Democrat Kevan Stafford polled 121 votes (5.3%) in a dual vacancy election for Loughborough Shelthorpe ward, Charnwood.

Dr Jim Lewthwaite addressing a John Tyndall Memorial Meeting organised by H&D – he polled 24.5% this week in Bradford.

Across the Pennines in Todmorden ward, Calderdale, the NF’s Chris Jackson polled 4.6%, up from 2.7% last year. The best NF result was in Brunshaw ward, Burnley, where Steven Smith (organiser of Burnley BNP in its glory days) polled 182 votes (16.3%).

Former NF and BNP activist Mick Sharpe polled 4.2% as English Democrat candidate in Ripley & Marehay ward, Amber Valley. ED leader Robin Tilbrook, who secured nationwide publicity for his legal action aiming to secure Brexit, polled 17.2% in Chipping Ongar, Greensted and Marden Ash ward, Epping Forest.

A tiny group of former UKIP activists remain loyal to the party’s ex-leader Henry Bolton, whose new ‘Our Nation’ party had four candidates in Dover. Their strongest results were achieved by Graham Lane in Buckland ward, who polled 21%, and defending councillor Ben Glayzer who lost his seat in Tower Hamlets ward after polling 16.9%. Our Nation’s only other candidate was in Peterborough, where unlike his Dover colleagues Jack Penny had UKIP opposition and was predictably crushed, polling only 1.7%.

Against a background of ‘Brexit betrayal’, and with both major parties divided and discredited, UKIP should have been making gains, instead they have been losing seats nationwide. These losses were offset by a handful of gains as voters reacted with mixed anger and cynicism against the main political parties.

Some of the earliest results came in Sunderland, where UKIP made gains against an unpopular Labour-controlled council. Readers should be careful not to draw too many conclusions from Sunderland, which is likely to be atypically hostile to Labour and friendly to UKIP. For example UKIP’s obsession with Islam failed to gain the party any seats in Rochdale or Oldham, two of the party’s main target areas, though two UKIP gains were made in Derby, which seems to be the party’s best branch.

The full nationwide picture reflects UKIP’s collapse in so many of its former strongholds, but one bright spot is Hapton with Park ward, Burnley: the very same ward that once had a full set of three BNP councillors now has a full set of UKIP after Peter Gill gained the third seat from Labour. There was very nearly a second gain for Burnley UKIP: they missed out in Gawthorpe ward by just nine votes. Arguably UKIP’s best branch is in Derby, where they gained two seats and now have five city councillors.

Meanwhile in Mill Hill & Moorgate ward, Blackburn with Darwen, a ward that combines areas once won by the BNP and the England First Party, UKIP’s Michael Longbottom greatly improved his vote finishing runner-up with 34%, up from 13.6% last year. The point is that this is the type of area where UKIP would be winning seats now had they not self-destructed in recent years.

Similarly in two working-class Preston wards close to the H&D office, UKIP failed to make any progress, polling 23.0% in Brookfield and 23.3% in Ribbleton, despite this year’s elections being for all three vacancies in each redrawn ward, greatly helping smaller parties. Each of these wards ought to be winnable for UKIP or indeed for a serious, electorally-focused nationalist party.

Gerard Batten’s party will justifiably be celebrating gains from Labour in three Sunderland wards and also gained one seat in Hartlepool, but results here indicated that there is now a substantial general protest vote, which we can expect to see nationwide – with For Britain plus various independents as well as Liberal Democrats and Greens making gains.

One such independent gain was in Failsworth East ward, Oldham, with former UKIP councillor Warren Bates narrowly failing to regain a seat as an independent in next door Failsworth West. Oldham was meant to be one of the few areas where UKIP were still making progress, contesting fourteen seats across the borough, but they failed even to come close to winning a seat: their best votes were 25.9% in Hollinwood, 25.1% in Royton South, and 23.7% in Chadderton South.

UKIP lost both seats they were defending in Sheffield, and are now down to just one Sheffield councillor.

The once significant BNP is down to just two candidates nationwide. Ian Seeby polled 15.4% in Cheshunt South & Theobalds ward, Broxbourne – the first time that the BNP has fought this ward, benefiting from the disappearance of UKIP in this area. Ron Ball in Swanley St Mary’s ward, Sevenoaks, was bottom of the poll with 45 votes (5.5%). This is a ward that the BNP won in 2009.

Former BNP activist Pete Molloy won a town council seat in Spennymoor

Former BNP activist Joe Owens polled 2.4% as an Independent candidate in the Labour stronghold of Kensington & Fairfield, Liverpool. Another former BNP activist Pete Molloy polled 12.7% in a by-election for Spennymoor ward, Durham. In a simultaneous parish council election Mr Molloy was elected to Spennymoor Town Council with 488 votes (31.3%). Readers should note this is a more substantial election than most parish council contests: often these are depoliticised contests with low turnouts, but this is certainly not the case in Spennymoor. Mr Molloy has rescued a real nationalist victory from the wreckage of the BNP.

Another well known ex-BNP activist standing as an independent this year was Alan Girvan, who polled a very impressive 785 votes (18.4%) in Heckmondwike ward, Kirklees.

Britain First has failed to register as a political party, but two of the group’s activists stood as independents. Paul Rudge polled 26.7% in Rowley ward, Sandwell, while Geoff Miles took 10.1% in Ware Trinity ward, East Hertfordshire.

British Resistance candidate Carl Mason, an ally of the controversial Jack Sen, polled 17 votes (1.0%) in Nunnery ward, Worcester. In West ward, Chichester, former BNP organiser Dr Andrew Emerson polled 84 votes (3.6%) for his Patria party.

H&D will bring further coverage of election results as they are declared in remaining councils this afternoon. Some Northern Ireland results – including Court ward, Belfast, where Jolene Bunting, an independent councillor once linked to Britain First, is seeking re-election, will not be declared until tomorrow (Saturday).

Farage candidate quits after IRA link revealed

IRA apologist Claire Fox (above left) with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage

In response to the developing scandal over the Brexit Party’s number one candidate in North West England, a fellow candidate today resigned from the party’s slate for this month’s European Parliamentary elections.

As detailed yesterday by H&D, Claire Fox is a lifelong Marxist who was a senior activist in the Revolutionary Communist Party for many years. Together with her sister Fiona she contributed regularly to the bulletin of a pro-IRA front group called the Irish Freedom Movement: see yesterday’s article for details.

In response to these revelations, Claire Fox spoke on the telephone yesterday to Colin Parry, whose 12-year-old son Tim Parry was murdered alongside 3-year-old Johnathan Ball by the IRA in their infamous 1993 bombing of Warrington.

Yet again Claire Fox refused to dissociate herself from her previous statements supporting IRA terrorism: Mr Parry wrote – “the fact that she repeatedly refused to disavow her comments supporting the IRA bombing which took Tim’s and Johnathan’s young lives proves she hasn’t changed her original views.”

Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry, victims of the IRA bomb in Warrington, 1993

Now Ms Fox’s Brexit Party colleague Sally Bate, who was seventh on the Brexit Party’s European Parliamentary slate in the region, has resigned. She technically remains on the ballot paper as it is too late for this to be altered before polling day on May 23rd.

The Claire Fox scandal raises a serious question mark over Nigel Farage’s judgment in selecting an apologist for IRA terrorism to stand for the European Parliament representing his new party. It remains to be seen whether North West voters will desert the Brexit Party over this issue – if so the beneficiaries could be the English Democrats, UKIP, or independent candidate Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, alias Tommy Robinson.

However ‘Robinson’ is himself an apologist for terrorism, in his case supporting the US and Canadian based Zionist terrorist group Jewish Defense League – see H&D‘s exposé here.


Spanish nationalist party in election breakthrough

For the first time in forty years, nationalists have been elected to the Spanish Parliament in Madrid.

On April 28th the new nationalist party Vox won 10.3% of the vote and 24 seats in Spain’s general election.

Vox leader Santiago Abascal

Until recently Spain had one of the most inflexible two-party systems in Europe. Anyone broadly of the right (i.e. who would have supported Franco’s Nationalists during the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War) would vote for the conservative Popular Party. Anyone broadly of the left (i.e. who would have supported the socialist-communist Republicans during the Civil War) would vote for Spain’s Socialist Party PSOE, unless they were from the Catalonian or Basque regions, when they might vote for separatist parties.

Multiple scandals have shattered this duopoly, with the conservative Popular Party the main losers. In this year’s election the PP lost more than half of their parliamentary seats, challenged both by Vox and by a free-market conservative party called Citizens.

For the time being, Vox will have no share in government, which will be dominated by the socialists with support from the far left and separatist parties.

Predictably Vox’s strongest support came in regions that have been most threatened by African immigration. Across Andalusia – where they made their most significant breakthrough in regional elections late last year – Vox polled 13.4% (more than 600,000 votes). In the small city of Ceuta, a Spanish enclave on the North African coast, they were runners-up with 24%.

Santiago Abascal with French nationalist leader Marine Le Pen

This result will give Vox hope of winning MEPs for the first time when Spain holds its European Parliamentary elections on May 26th. It is expected that Vox MEPs will join the anti-immigration bloc headed by Matteo Salvini’s Italian Lega and Marine Le Pen’s renamed National Rally (formerly the National Front).

Nigel Farage and the IRA apologist

IRA apologist and Brexit Party European Parliamentary candidate Claire Fox with her party leader Nigel Farage.

The European election campaign in North West England has become bitterly controversial due to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party selecting Claire Fox – a lifelong Marxist and IRA apologist as its number one candidate in the region.

Claire Fox is now best known to BBC Radio 4 listeners for her regular role as a panellist on discussion show The Moral Maze, but during the 1980s and 1990s she was a leading member of the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), having previously been in its Trotskyist rival the Socialist Workers Party (SWP).

The RCP had an especially close connection to violent Irish republicans, and ran a front organisation called the Irish Freedom Movement whose bulletin Irish Freedom was edited by Fiona Fox (Claire Fox’s sister) sometimes using the psudonym Fiona Foster.

Claire Fox’s sister Fiona, editor of pro-IRA magazine Irish Freedom

Immediately after the IRA’s 1993 Warrington bombing that killed 3-year-old Johnathan Ball and 12-year-old Tim Parry, Fox’s Irish Freedom bulletin published an editorial headlined Warrington and After. This sneered at “the ‘peace’ movements whose emergence has been so keenly promoted by the British and Irish media” for “their demonisation of the IRA, their crawling apologies for being born Irish and their promotion of the British state – the most militaristic in all of Western Europe”.

Fox’s organisation proclaimed their first response to Warrington as being “to explain the real cause of the Irish war and target the British authorities as the source of the violence.” In the same edition of Irish Freedom Claire Fox herself, under the alias Claire Foster, denounced media censorship and bias. She condemned “the selective concern to mourn only certain children (those killed by ‘terrorists’).”

This is the woman who now aspires to be the Brexit Party’s MEP for North West England, including Warrington where two of these children were murdered by the IRA monsters consistently idolised by the Fox sisters and their friends!

Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry, victims of the IRA bomb in Warrington, 1993

As it happens the Warrington bombing was probably carried out by British far left IRA sympathisers – not by members of Claire Fox’s RCP, but their rivals in Red Action, a group that split off from an opposing SWP faction. The background to this connection was explored a few years ago in a BBC documentary whose producers interviewed H&D writers as part of their background research.

Nigel Farage has always had a blind spot over Ulster, but his decision to promote Claire Fox as a candidate for the European Parliament is a disgrace. This woman is manifestly unfit for elected office: H&D readers in North West England should vote for anything other than the Brexit Party.

The election that should never have happened

Nominations have closed for the contest that should never have happened – the election of British members for the next session of the European Parliament.

After the UK voted to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum, Brexit was due to be completed on March 31st, but as every reader will know by now, this has been postponed repeatedly and might never happen.

As a consequence, there will be European Parliamentary elections in the UK on May 23rd, just as in the rest of Europe (though some countries will not vote until May 26th).

The continuing confusion in Parliament over Brexit has been mirrored in the lists of candidates, with numerous contenders competing for the loyalties of both confirmed Brexiteers and Remainers.

No explicitly racial nationalist party is putting up candidates for this election, and the National Front has openly called for the whole charade to be boycotted.

UKIP leader Gerard Batten (left) with ex-EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (alias ‘Tommy Robinson’) whose increasingly close relationship with the party prompted Nigel Farage to resign, but who was denied a place on any of UKIP’s candidate lists.

On the Brexit side, the United Kingdom Independence Party has suffered splits in several directions, and only three of its MEPs are seeking re-election under UKIP colours – party leader Gerard Batten in London, Stuart Agnew in Eastern England, and Mike Hookem in Yorkshire & Humber.

Several candidates from the wilder fringes of anti-Islamist politics have joined UKIP during the past year or two, and some are standing as Euro-candidates, including the controversial YouTube self-publicists Carl Benjamin (aka Sargon of Akkad) and Mark Meechan (aka Count Dankula).

For so far unexplained reasons, UKIP’s most controversial recent ally – convicted fraudster and former EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka ‘Tommy Robinson’) was denied a place on any of UKIP’s regional slates. He will be standing as an Independent in North West England, where he will be competing with at least three rival Brexiteer slates – UKIP, the Brexit Party (founded by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage) and the English Democrats.

‘Robinson’ has no connection to the North West, so he presumably thinks this region gives him the best chance of getting elected – he is following the carpetbagging path of Nick Griffin, who similarly headed for the North West and won election to the European Parliament in 2009.

Robin Tilbrook, leader of the English Democrats, one of at least three parties competing for the pro-Brexit vote this year.

The EDs are fighting four regions: Eastern England (where their slate is headed by party leader Robin Tilbrook); South West England; Yorkshire & Humber; and the North West.

Opinion polls suggest that Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is well ahead of other pro-Brexit parties, although candidate lists have only just been announced, so no one can tell what impact Farage’s rather odd choice of candidates will have on voters.

For example, North West voters might be rather disturbed by the presence of Claire Fox, a veteran Marxist and pro-IRA campaigner, at the head of the Brexit Party slate. Ms Fox was for many years a leading member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and another RCP veteran – Alka Sehgal Cuthbert – is standing for Farage’s party in the London region.

H&D will carry regular updates on this site during the election campaign, as well as results and analysis after votes are counted on May 26th.

Results from other European countries are likely to be a lot more interesting than those in the UK – and a lot more positive for the cause of racial nationalism. We will of course be giving extensive coverage to these European developments, starting in preview articles next week and with a detailed country-by-country analysis in the next edition of the magazine.

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