Hope not Hate get it wrong again…

It has come to our attention that on Saturday 22nd June, the Hope Not Hate website posted a report on the North West Frontline Firm’s march and rally in Burnley on that same day – entitled “Burnley a Far-Right wash out”. We understand that the report was posted by former National Front member Matthew Collins (who now works for Hope Not Hate) on his “Insider’s Blog”.

Collins’ report included a photo of H&D‘s editor selling badges at the rally – with the caption “from klansman to badgeman” – implying that Mark was a former klansman.

His “report” included the following:

“The only interesting thing to happen all day was someone spotting Mark Cotterill at the demo site. Cotterill used to be the BNP’s fundraiser in the United States, a well-to-do fascist who was even married for a while to the daughter of David Duke, Nick Griffin’s favourite Klansman.”
We doubt very many of our readers will be taken in by Collins’ fantasies, but just for the record we would like to clarify the following:
1. Mark is not, never has been and never will be a Klansmen (KKK member). In fact those who knew Mark during his time in the States will know that he spoke out against the KKK on many occasions and in fact persuaded a number of younger movement activists not to join the KKK as it was a dead end to nowhere.
2. For just over two years Mark was chairman of the American Friends of the BNP – the BNP’s American branch, which did raise funds for the BNP – very successfully in fact.
3. Mark was never married to David Duke’s daughter Kristin. As far as we are aware Kristin has never been married – although as HNH editor Nick Lowles reported in Searchlight back in 2002 Mark did marry an American, Jennifer Babcock – no relation to the Dukes though!
4. Whether Mark is a “well-to-do-fascist” is debatable. It’s really how you define “well-to-do” and “fascist”? However, to give you a clue, he lives in a former council-house in Moor Nook but does like holidays in Italy!
5. Whether David Duke is still “Nick Griffin’s favourite Klansman” seems very unlikely, seeing Duke quit the KKK in 1979 (over 33 years ago!) and ten years later got elected as a Louisiana State Representive (something like an American version of our County Councillor, though more prestigious) for the Republican Party (something like our Conservative Party).

Mark Cotterill (right) with David Duke’s daughter Kristin (holding her baby Chloe) and her bodyguard, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, 1998.

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