England First Party in the Media: Guardian, 13 Feb 2004

guardian.co.ukGuardian, 13 Feb 2004:

An extreme right group has broken away from the British National party (BNP) and is fighting a by-election in a bid to win its first council seat.

.

England First is contesting a vacancy on Lancaster city council at the end of this month, which will be the first public test of the party that was set up in the summer of last year by former BNP member Mark Cotterill.

.

Mr Cotterill said the deaths of 19 cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay, mainly Chinese workers, was being raised on the doorstep but denied his party was capitalising on the issue of immigrant labour.

.

“We’re not raising this. It’s the people themselves who say it’s an issue,” he said.

.

“It’s being raised with us because people know what our policy is. It’s to stop immigration and send them back.

.

“We have put out two leaflets so far in this election and we haven’t mentioned the cockle pickers, although we may mention them in the next one.”

.

The party’s decision to field a candidate in the area has been widely condemned by other politicians and community leaders.

.

Mr Cotterill worked in the US for two years as chairman of the American Friends of the BNP before returning to this country and splitting from the party. He is acting as election agent to Paul Bamford, a politics student at Lancaster University who is standing in the Heysham South ward.

.

The party is looking to stand candidates in local elections where the BNP were not contesting the seat, said Mr Cotterill.

.

“We looked around the country at what was becoming vacant. An election was being held in Heysham and we had a member living locally who wanted to stand,” he said.

.

“We could quite easily win. In last May’s election the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats didn’t even fight the seat, which hardly gave people an option. It won’t take a great deal to win this.”

.

Less than 25% of the electorate turned out for the 2003 annual election, which returned three members of the Morecambe Bay Independent party.

.

One of them, Shirley Reid, has resigned her council seat forcing the by-election on February 26.

.

Full list of candidates, Heysham South ward by-election:
Paul Antony Bamford – England First party
Kenneth Brown – Conservative party
Darren Keith Clifford – Labour party
Christopher Michael Greenall – Morecambe Bay Independent party
Terence William Haldren Taylor – Liberal Democrat party
Ashley Toms – Green party

.

Original source [external site]

England First Party In The Media: Bucks Free Press, 5 Feb 2004

Bucks Free Press, 05 Feb 2004:

PAUL Bamford: England First Party's debut candidate in Heysham

A NEW political party dedicated to fighting ‘anti-white racism’ is fielding its debut candidate in Heysham.

.

The England First Party is vowing to battle in the Heysham South by-election with robust views on immigration and home rule for England.

.

Paul Bamford, a politics student at Lancaster University, is urging voters to back him in a bid to start building a branch in the area.

.

But Ian Barker, leader of Lancaster City Council, says it is disturbing that a group he describes as nasties’ has shown its face in the area.

.

He told the Citizen: “The council has been trying to make sure we co-operate with all the democratic parties to fight racism and we hope the voters of Heysham will reject extremism.”

.

He says the England First Party’s stance on local issues is irrelevant’.

.

“It is a cheap stunt and is typical of right wing parties. They pick up the concerns of local people and then blame them on people with ethnic backgrounds,” he adds.

.

The by-election was called after Morecambe Bay Independent member Shirley Reid stepped down – and now The England First Party say they are here to give the people of Heysham something different’.

.

“People have been let down by the conventional parties in the area and so we are offering something different. People are concerned about Europe and the Euro and the number of people from the Third World that are pouring into our country,” says its chairman Mark Cotterill.

.

“We are concerned that our own land is being taken over and want England to be separated from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

.

“Although this does not directly affect Heysham, it will do in the future and we think the people of Heysham will agree with us.”

.

He acknowledges that the party may be called racists’ but says comments like that would be like water off a duck’s back’.

.

Other candidates standing in the election, which will take place on, February 26, are – Kenneth Brown (Conservative), Darren Keith Clifford (Labour) Christopher Michael Green-all (Morecambe Bay Ind), Terence William Haldren Taylor (Lib Dem) and Ashley Toms (Green Party).

.

Original source [external site]

  • Find By Category

  • Latest News

  • Follow us on Twitter