The British National Party is using money it receives from Europe to support its two MEPs to bankroll the leadership of its organisation
Of the 14 people employed by the two MEPs only five actually live in the two regions they represent and most fulfil national posts for the party.
In the latest abuse of the parliamentary expenses system, the British and European people are funding the BNP. As MEPs, Nick Griffin and Andrew Brons, are entitled to claim a combined £382,000 a year to pay for their colleagues’ salaries. The two share five members of staff, who all happen to be national party officers and only one lives in either the North West or Yorkshire.
They are Simon Darby, the party’s deputy leader, Eddy Butler, the national organiser, Emma Colgate, the national administration officer, John Walker, the deputy press officer, and Martin Wingfield, who lives in the North West and until recently was the editor of the party newspaper, Voice of Freedom.
Each MEP also has some staff of his own. One of Nick Griffin’s is Martin Reynolds, a bodybuilder from Leeds who acts as his personal minder. When asked about what “specifically” he does for his EU salary, Reynolds said: “I honestly don’t know”.
Andrew Brons employs three people. One happens to be the new BNP Yorkshire organiser while the other two, Adam and Mark Walker, both live in County Durham, which is in a different region.
Searchlight has long argued that if elected the BNP would use public money to fund the party rather than helping the people they are supposed to represent. This is proving to be the case.
Who’s on the gravy train...
Eddy Butler Butler is the BNP national organiser, national elections officer and, until recently, eastern regional organiser. Butler joined the National Front shortly after the 1979 general election and subsequently the BNP. He was the BNP Tower Hamlets organiser and the architect of the BNP’s “Rights for Whites” campaign, which began in 1990 and culminated in the first ever BNP council election victory in Tower Hamlets in 1993. Butler headed the BNP’s European election candidates’ list in the East of England. He lives in Loughton, where his partner Sue Clapp is a district councillor.
Emma Colgate Colgate is the BNP’s national administration officer. Her appointment was announced at the BNP’s European election victory rally in Blackpool. She is also a BNP councillor in Thurrock, where she holds the balance of power and has kept the Conservatives in power. She was second on the BNP European election candidates’ list in the East of England. Before her appointment as national admin officer, she worked as Richard Barnbrook’s researcher at the Greater London Authority.
Simon Darby Darby is the BNP’s deputy leader and press spokesperson. He recently stood down as honorary treasurer. He was previously the West Midlands regional organiser and has worked full-time for the BNP for some time. He headed the West Midlands European election candidates’ list. He lives in Wales near Welshpool.
John Walker Walker has held a succession of jobs in the BNP. He was once party treasurer and then worked in logistics and dispatch roles when the BNP had its Excalibur warehouse in Deeside last year. Since the beginning of the year he has been the BNP’s deputy press officer. When Walker took over as treasurer in 2004, he and David Hannam, another BNP officer, went to the home of the former party treasurer John Brayshaw and had various BNP financial documents shredded.
Martin Wingfield Wingfield was the editor of the BNP’s monthly newspaper The Voice of Freedom until just after the European election, when he went off to work for Griffin and Brons. He was second on the European election candidates’ list for the North West (after Griffin). Wingfield received a 90-day sentence in November 1985 for failing to pay a fine imposed earlier that year for two offences under the race relations laws. He was convicted for inciting racial hatred in election literature distributed by the National Front in 1983.
Nick Griffin’s staff
Alistair Barbour Barbour is the organiser of the BNP’s Carlisle branch and has stood in local elections in the area.
Clive Jefferson Jefferson is the BNP’s North West regional organiser and a key figure in the BNP’s security team. Speaking to a local newspaper in May 2007 about Griffin’s conviction for incitement of racial hatred over a magazine that denied the Holocaust, Jefferson dismissed it saying: “He’s been convicted of having a different view of history”.
Martin Reynolds Reynolds is the head of BNP security. From Leeds, Reynolds is a bodybuilder who was caught by undercover BBC journalists selling knock-off Stone Island and other fake designer clothes.
Tina Wingfield The wife of Martin Wingfield, Tina was the BNP’s membership secretary until her appointment to Griffin’s constituency team.
Andrew Brons’s staff
Chris Beverley Beverley is a BNP councillor in Leeds and was third on the European election candidates’ list in Yorkshire and the Humber. A fluent German speaker, he liaises with the German nazi NPD on behalf of the BNP. For a period last year he managed the campaign by Colin Auty to gather enough signatures to challenge Griffin for the party leadership.
Adam Walker Adam Walker was a teacher who was suspended for accessing religiously intolerant material on the internet. He is taking his appeal to the General Teaching Council. He headed the BNP European candidates’ list for the North East. He is president of the BNP’s tame trade union, Solidarity. Although Solidarity professes independence, all its officers are from the BNP or Third Way, a party run by some of Griffin’s mates from his National Front days, and the very few cases it has ever taken up involve BNP members.
Mark Walker Mark Walker is secretary of Durham BNP and was also sacked as a teacher for allegedly downloading pornography on a school’s computer. There were also questions over a relationship with a 17-year-old former pupil.