Ex-BNP councillors aid Labour coup

blackburncoatofarmsAs predicted a few weeks ago on this website, Labour has regained control of Blackburn with Darwen Council – the most racially divided local authority in England – with the help of two former BNP activists.

Councillors Trevor Maxfield and Anthony Meleady were elected for the For Darwen Party, a group which campaigned for the devolution of some council powers to a Darwen Town Council. Cllr Maxfield had previously been the BNP branch organiser for the area and Cllr Meleady had been a BNP activist.

For Darwen also won the backing of Cllr Michael Johnson, elected as an England First Party councillor in 2006.

In 2007 For Darwen joined the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats in a coalition which took control of Blackburn with Darwen, ending Labour’s local monopoly on power. But within weeks of Cllr Maxfield being appointed to the council’s cabinet as chief of cultural and leisure services he quit the coalition, objecting to some of their proposed £4 million cuts to services for some of the borough’s poorest residents.

On September 14th the council passed a vote of no confidence in the coalition and installed Labour as the new ruling group, with ex-BNP activists Cllrs Maxfield and Meleady wielding the crucial votes.

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