The BNP's top fundraiser is today exposed as a militant anti-abortion campaigner with links to a Loyalist killer and a string of criminal convictions.
Jim Dowson is a former Orangeman who featured on a tape of flute band music supporting murderer Michael Stone. He was also the face of a hardline pro-life organisation who posted names and addresses of pro-choice MSPs and a family planning group boss on the internet.
Dowson, of Cumbernauld, near Glasgow, is now a key aide to BNP leader Nick Griffin. Griffin appointed Dowson as the party's money man and campaign organiser for their attempt to win seats in tomorrow's European Parliament election.
Dowson's past activities fly in the face of BNP attempts to paint the group in a more moderate light and be seen as a serious political party.
In a recent blog, Griffin praised Dowson for his help in getting their party political broadcast aired on Channel Five. Griffin wrote: "This was just one of a huge number of extras that Jim Dowson threw in on top of all his other super-human efforts."
But we can reveal Dowson, 44, as a "rent-a-cause" extremist who was kicked out of the Orange Order.
Dowson formed Precious Life Scotland, later UK LifeLeague, in 1999 after meetings with Ireland's notorious Youth Defence, who had previously stormed buildings in Dublin in their crusade against a woman's right to choose. He said he joined the antiabortion movement after being approached in the street by activists during a holiday in Belfast and felt disgusted by the aborted foetus images in their leaflets.
Dowson portrayed himself as a staunch Christian and even claimed to be preacher in his own church.
But Dowson has no shame over his sectarian views and violent past.
He has described himself as a "dyed-in-the-wool Protestant" and said "all options are open" in the fight against abortion. He admitted: "I have a very chequered past."
Dowson has a list of criminal convictions including breach of the peace in 1986, possession of a weapon and breach of the peace in 1991 and criminal damage in 1992. He was forced out of his local Orange Lodge and took part in demonstrations against fellow Orangemen, attacking them as "atheists and boozers" after he was "born again".
Dowson denied claims he constantly referred to Catholics as "Fenian scum", but did admit to producing flute band tapes which glorified the worst Loyalist atrocities. The tape of Cumbernauld's Abronhill flute band included a tribute to Michael Stone who murdered three Catholics at a funeral in 1988.
Neighbours in Cumbernauld told how Dowson would fly sectarian flags from the windows of his house. In 1998, he protested against Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble's role in the Good Friday peace agreement.
But it was his role in the militant pro-life movement which gained him public exposure. Ironically, given his party's denial of the Nazis' hatred of Jews, Dowson held up graphic photographs of an aborted baby with the words "Hitler's Holocaust - Scotland's Holocaust Abortion" during Precious Life's first protest in Edinburgh.
In an interview, he repeated the comparison, saying: "It's like Hitler. He used fancy, flowery language to sanitise what went on in the death camps, didn't he?"
Dowson eventually lost his job as sales manager for a catering firm over his continued publicity.
His organisation came under fire for bombarding children as young as 11 with graphic abortion images. He and wife Anne were also behind Parent Truth, an group threatened with legal action over a planned billboard campaign carrying the phrase "The morning after pill can kill", alongside an image of a girl on a life support machine.
Brown leads fascist fight
Gordon Brown yesterday led a host of celebrities in condemning the BNP.
The PM and stars including actress Thandie Newton and Little Britain's Matt Lucas put their names to an open letter hitting out at the "racist and fascist"party. The letter said:"We love Britain precisely because of its tolerance and diversity. "The British National Party and their allies are a threat to everything that makes us proud of this country we love. "The BNP are working hard to conceal their extremism because they know British people reject the politics of racism and hatred."
Foreign Secretary David Miliband yesterday warned that Britain faces a "day of shame" if the BNP are elected to the European Parliament.
Miliband, whose Jewish grandparents were forced to flee the Nazis, said: "It would be a day of enormous shame if the country that led the fight against the Nazism in the 1940s ends up with the political descendants of fascism representing Britain."
The BNP stand no real chance of winning a Scottish seat in the European election tomorrow. But nearly 20,000 Scots voted for the BNP at the last Euro poll in 2004 and the fear is they will increase that total this time.
Scottish Daily Record