A BNP councillor has defended the party after members were filmed burning a gollywog and making racist comments during a festival. Paul Golding (left), British National Party councillor for the St Mary’s ward in Swanley, has condemned members who were shown performing the mock trial of the gollywog.
A News of the World reporter filmed the ritual while undercover at the party’s Red White and Blue family festival in Derbyshire last month. The group, which included a 12-year-old girl, dubbed the stuffed toy ‘Winston’ and charged him with being black before dropping him onto a fire. One member, identified as John Coombes, of Maidenhead, Berkshire, a council candidate for that area, said: “He thinks he's not black. He's charged with being black. Get on there.” The 45-year-old added: “Let's get a real one. In the town we'll find one or two.”
Police in Derbyshire have launched an investigation after seeing the video footage. A spokeswoman said: “Officers will be contacting the newspaper which alleges that an undercover reporter witnessed unlawful activity while at the event.”
Cllr Golding, who was elected in February, says the views of the people involved in the mock trial are not representative of the BNP. He said: “If you subtract these morons from our 13,000 members it is something like 0.01 per cent of the party. They are all being disciplined and it will be very severe, if not being kicked out of the party.”
The News of the World article claims members gave Nazi-style salutes and shouted Sieg Heil, and music with racist lyrics supporting Hitler was played. Cllr Golding said he was at the festival but was not aware of the racist activity, and he says the party is not racist.
Party leader MEP Nick Griffin was also at the event, which was attended by around 1,200 BNP supporters. He said the party will be organised to give non-whites no power if new legislation forces it to allow them to become members, the article alleges. Cllr Golding says the BNP is for white British people, so there would be no reason for non-whites to join other than to cause trouble within the party.
Last month News Shopper revealed that a Gravesend woman convicted of intimidating an Asian mother was a member of the BNP, after Cllr Golding made a video stating she was not. Helen Forster, aged 32, of Park Place, denied being a member in the video posted on YouTube and the BNP website, but she was registered under a different surname - Colclough. Cllr Golding says he was unaware Forster was a member of the party under a different name at the time of making the video.