Nationalist candidates nominated in London

GLA City Hall

Despite his party’s well-documented problems, the BNP’s David Furness will contest the London Mayoral election on May 5th. His nomination was officially confirmed this morning, as was the rival mayoral candidature of former BNP official Paul Golding, who now leads the anti-Islamic party Britain First.

Messrs Furness and Golding (and their campaign teams) are to be congratulated on completing the UK’s most arduous nomination process, which involved collecting signatures from each of London’s boroughs as well as the City of London.

This task proved beyond the financially secure but organisationally weak English Democrats, a civic nationalist party which recruited a few of the BNP’s best former activists in 2011 but seems now to be in decline.  ED mayoral candidate Winston McKenzie failed to submit valid nomination papers and has been disqualified from the election. (Similarly the National Liberal Party – co-founded by Patrick Harrington who now acts as the brains behind the BNP leadership – failed to nominate a mayoral candidate after previously announcing Upkar Singh Raj as their standard bearer.)

The BNP and Britain First will also have slates of candidates for the London-wide list section of the Greater London Assembly, headed by David Furness for the BNP and Jayda Franzen for Britain First. It is this list section which gives smaller parties (including nationalists) a realistic chance of winning a GLA seat: in practice the target is 5%, and with more than 6% there is a good chance of gaining a second seat.

The BNP’s Richard Barnbrook was elected in 2008 with 5.3%, the party’s best ever GLA vote, while Jason Douglas only just missed out in 2004 when the BNP polled 4.7%. In 2014 the BNP vote fell to 2.1%, its worst ever London result, and realistically the target this year will not be to win, but merely to increase that vote.

The BNP list includes East London sub-regional organiser Paul Sturdy, and organisers from three of the few remaining BNP branches in the capital: Croydon’s John Clarke, Bexley’s Michael Jones and next door Bromley’s Roger Tonks. Also from the Bexley branch are Peter and Nicola Finch and Philip Dalton.

At GLA constituency level, it is likely that the only nationalist candidate will be the National Front’s Richard Edmonds, in the Croydon & Sutton constituency – where to underline the state of our capital city, both the Liberal Democrat and Labour candidates are named Ahmad!

For the first time there will be no nationalist candidate in the City & East constituency, which includes the old and more recent BNP strongholds of Tower Hamlets and Barking & Dagenham. The BNP saved their deposit in City & East eight years ago with 9.8%, and even in 2012 managed a respectable 4.1% but will not be on that ballot paper this year.

In most of the rest of England, local council election candidates are still being nominated and final lists will not be confirmed until the end of next week: the same applies for the Welsh Assembly, and Police and Crime Commisioner elections which are taking place everywhere in England and Wales (except London and Greater Manchester).

Scottish Parliament nominations closed this afternoon, with the NF chairman Dave MacDonald expected to be the only racial nationalist candidate.

Nominations for the Northern Ireland Assembly have only just opened, and will not close until April 12th.

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