The British National Party (BNP) is to stand in Kells ward, Whitehaven, after demanding a by-election is run to fill the seat left by the late Joe McAllister. The by-election has been called for the vacant position of county councillor for the ward of Kells and Sandwith. It has been called for Thursday, December 18, and nominations close at noon on Friday, November 21.
The ballot follows the death of Coun McAllister in July. He had been Labour councillor for Kells and Sandwith since 1995.
At that vote, Labour polled 1,367 votes and independent journalist Gordon Brown pipped the Conservatives at the polls with 357 votes compared with 355 polled for Leah Higgins.
Copeland Labour Party vice chairman Alan Alexander said Labour would be vigorously defending the seat. He said: “The BNP are a legally constituted party who often pretend to campaign on local issues whenever they put up candidates. But whenever you discuss issues with them, their true racist views always come to the fore. Having just marked Remembrance Day when we remember those who died fighting fascism, it is an insult to us all that people with the BNP views should be standing politically in our community.”
David Gray, speaking on behalf of the Conservatives, said they “expected to contest the Kells seat”.
Clive Jefferson, Copeland organiser for the BNP, said his party would contest the seat and had started campaigning. He said: “The powers that be didn’t want to have this election, they fully intended to leave the seat vacant until next June, when all the county seats are up for re-election. Well it is not in my nature to allow the complacent establishment – the old boys’ club – to ‘agree’ not to have an election, because it doesn’t suit their winter holiday calendar.”
The Whitehaven News