Local BNP braced for ‘witch hunt’ after members’ list is leaked
Nov 20 2008 by Henryk Zientek, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
PUBLIC sector workers who are members of the BNP will face a “witch hunt” in the wake of a party membership list being published on the internet, a Huddersfield activist has claimed.
Prominent member Robert Walker, who has stood for the BNP at Kirklees Council elections, said: “I am not bothered about my name appearing. Otherwise, I would not have put up for election.
“But there will be problems for civil servants who are now being identified as members and will now face political interference.”
West Yorkshire has the second highest rate of membership with 858 people from the county on the list.
And in Yorkshire as a whole the party counts more than 1,600 members.
Mr Walker claimed he knew several Kirklees Council employees who supported the BNP “because we are the only political party that talks about immigration”.
He said the furore surrounding the publication of the list identifying 12,000 BNP members had sparked a debate about people’s rights to belong to a political party.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is set to investigate claims that a serving officer on Merseyside is on the list.
Police are banned from becoming members of the BNP because it would damage race relations, according to the Association of Chief Police Officers.
But Mr Walker said: “This list will highlight BNP members who are police officers, firemen or solders – and how the right to express your view in this country is diminishing rapidly.”
The BNP membership list has been removed from the original blog where it was published but remains available on other websites.
BNP spokesman Simon Darby said: “It is looking increasingly likely that this is the work of Labour Party supporters. If they have not protected their internet service provider address properly, there will be an electronic trail leading back to the culprit.”
Mr Darby, who is employed by the Greater London Authority as an assistant to Richard Barnbrook, who became the first BNP representative to be elected to the London Assembly in May and is also the party’s mayoral candidate.