June 13, 2009
Posted by Antifascist
The BNP – which bars blacks or Asians from joining – rejects the notion of a multicultural society and refuses to consider black and ethnic minorities to be British, even if they or their parents were born here. But until now it has been careful not to single out noted ethnic minority celebrities for fear of provoking a public backlash.
His comments have provoked anger from politicians and sporting bodies.
Liberal Democrat MP Ed Davey said: “This type of comment reveals the ugly face of the BNP which they try to hide from voters yet is at the heart of their extremism.”
The British Olympic Association added: “Dame Kelly Holmes played an important part in Team GB as a hugely successful British athlete. We are immensely proud of her achievements. Team GB is not about the colour of your skin, it is about performing at the highest level while representing this country at Olympic events.”
Mr Brons, who began his political life as a member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, said he rejected the notion that Black or Asian members of the community could be British, even if they were born here. He said: "I don't accept the term Black British or Asian British. Britons are the indigenous peoples of these isles."
Asked about someone like Dame Kelly, who was born in Kent of a white English mother and Jamaican father, and served for several years in the Army before becoming one of this country's most successful athletes, he said: "Kelly Holmes is only partially from this country, even if she is an integrated member of the community."
Mr Brons, 61, went on to reject the idea that black footballers, such as Emile Heskey and Jermain Defoe, who represented England against Andorra last Wednesday, could be regarded as British. He said: "They are British citizens – which is a legal concept – but not British by identity. That's not a pejorative description, it is just stating a fact about their racial identity."
The BNP's ultimate aim – as laid down in its constitution – is a return to a predominately white Britain that existed before the 1948 Nationality Act. Mr Brons, who well into the 1980s was still praising the NF's skinhead supporters, used to advocate mass forced repatriation of all non-whites. He says he now accepts repatriation would have to be voluntary.
He said: "Compulsory repatriation is not practical now because communities have put down roots. My views have matured and changed."
Police have stepped up security around Mr Brons's home in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, after threats against him were posted on a football fans' internet chat room. Harrogate College, where Mr Brons worked as a politics lecturer until recently, is coming under pressure to explain why it continued to employ him despite his views.
Mr Brons says he would have taken up an offer to return to the college in September had he not been elected as MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber.