The British National Party has been forced out of its regular meeting place after the licensees of a Swindon pub realised they had been taking private bookings from the extremist group for more than four years.
Landlords Nick and Debbie Sharpe, who have run the Moonrakers in Cricklade Road, since 2005, were ‘horrified’ to learn they had been renting out their private function room, the Crossways Suite, to the far-right party. But since discovering the group, which has always paid three months in advance in cash, was holding monthly meetings at the pub, the couple told them they were no longer welcome.
The BNP held its last meeting at the pub three months ago before members were refused further bookings, including for a meeting last Monday. The meetings were kept so low-key that even brewery boss James Arkell did not know what was happening at the pub until Monday.
John Walker, press and media officer for the BNP, said he was disgusted by the pub’s reaction.
“I find it hard to believe that the pub landlords have not known it was hiring out the venue to the BNP for four years. I am sick and tired of this approach people have that the BNP is not allowed to carry on as a normal political party. If they don’t want our business then we shall just go elsewhere and I would urge all BNP members and voters to do the same.”