December 17, 2009

Shock for Stoke BNP as leader quits

Alby Walker (left) with BNP leader Nick Griffin
The BNP in Stoke-on-Trent have been thrown into turmoil by the shock resignation of their leader

Councillor Alby Walker told his nine-strong group last night that he was standing down with immediate effect. And he is also unlikely to stand for re-election to the council in May.

Mr Walker, aged 52, told The Sentinel that he wanted to devote more of his time to family and work commitments. The ward member for Abbey Green had led the group since being elected to the city council in May 2006. However, there have been rumours of growing friction within the group over its future leadership and political direction.

Mr Walker announced his resignation in a brief email to council officials, saying: "As from your receipt of this email I am standing down as group leader of the BNP group. When this issue has been resolved within the BNP group the new leader will inform you of the new group structure in due course."

Mr Walker admitted he had been contemplating the move for some time. He said: "I am finding it difficult to juggle the political workload with my work commitments outside the council, running a joinery business. I have also had numerous things on my plate in my personal life, including my wife Ellie's treatment for breast cancer. I increasingly felt that I was not giving the role and my responsibility to the group my full attention, so in the interests of the group I have taken the decision to stand down."

Mr Walker also hinted that he is considering giving up his council seat ahead of the May elections. He said: "I won't deny the rumours at this stage, but I will have to discuss it with the group before I can make a proper decision."

But he declined to say whether he would remain a BNP party member. He added that he felt he had helped to change public perceptions of the BNP in the city and boost support for the far-right party. He said: "When I took over, BNP councillors were regarded as lazy ward members who didn't make a positive contribution to debates. I have totally transformed the group and our approach to politics, and I just hope that whoever takes over will take that forward."

The group will be run by deputy leader councillor Michael Coleman until a new leadership structure can be decided.

Mrs Walker, aged 54, said she fully supported her husband's decision, but she had no plans to leave the group. She said: "I support what he is doing, but I think it's a shame as he is really the backbone of the group."

Mr Coleman was last night unavailable for comment.

Labour group leader councillor Mohammed Pervez said: "I think this is a matter for the BNP to sort out. I don't want to get involved in their affairs; I've got far more important things to do."

The Sentinel


M said...

This is VERY good news. :)

Anonymous said...

Ha. This should cause a problem or two come election time.

Anonymous said...

What's changed you prat Walker?

"When I took over, BNP councillors were regarded as lazy ward members who didn't make a positive contribution to debates."

Anonymous said...

Looks like the rats are deserting the sinking ship! Captain Nick away in Copenhagen and it's all falling apart ha,ha, ha.

jerry said...

Guess why the EDL are gonna march in Stoke? Disillusioned BNPers will now leave the BNP to join the EDL.

Mark my words!

Anonymous said...

This will be a real killer for Stoke BNP. He was the only one on the council with any idea of what he was doing. Chaos beckons. :D

Anonymous said...

the EDL are not a political party , they are only after one thing unlike the bloody nuisance porkers.

Anonymous said...

First Alistair Barbour in Cumbria leaves the BNP now Walker, I wonder who will be next? These next few weeks will be interesting to watch as the BNP implodes? Xmas comes early!

NewsHound said...


Anonymous said...

"Mr Walker, aged 52, told The Sentinel that he wanted to devote more of his time to family and work commitments."

'Spending more time with my family'....Isn't that the stock excuse for any resignation in politics? I wonder what the REAL reasons are?

Not Rocket Scientist said...

Yes but the EDL do have membership cards, and they are looking to fight elections in future when the BNP collapse which is why they are taking advantage of the collapse in the Stoke BNP with a high profile publicity stunt.

For all we know, the EDL's "Wigan Mike" might have been plotting something unsavoury involving explosives to create Islamophobic riots.

It's not rocket science!

Kirklees Unity said...

Whilst this is great news I wouldn't get too carried away.

He is still a BNP councillor and could easily advise the new BNP group leader.

It is a chink of light, but only that I feel.

Anonymous said...

BNP members have been emailing around the article linked in this Indymedia post.

The disturbing magazine interview with Arthur Kemp's family came out around the 4th of December in the states. The article quotes comments Kemp's son, Stephen, apparently made here on Lancaster Unity.

Does anyone know if Kemp intends to run as a BNP candidate next year? There are rumors to that effect but there does not seem to be any mention of it online.

Anonymous said...

you are going to get some of your own medicine ;)

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UAF national conference 2010
Saturday 13 February, 9.30am to 5pm
TUC Congress Centre, London WC1B 3LS

Speakers include: Peter Hain MP, Billy Hayes (CWU), Edie Friedman (Jewish Council for Racial Equality), Weyman Bennett (UAF & Anti Nazi League), Sabby Dhalu (UAF & National Assembly Against Racism), Martin Smith (Love Music Hate Racism)

Unite Against Fascism is holding its annual national conference on Saturday 13 February at the TUC Congress Centre in central London.

This will be a crucial event for everyone who opposes the fascist British National Party and wants to prevent it from making gains at the next general and local elections. It will also be a focus for all those resisting the rise of racist anti-Muslim groups such as the English Defence League.

The climate of racism against immigrants and Muslims, together with harsh and uncertain economic circumstances, have created conditions that have allowed the Nazis to grow.

The BNP has been steadily building support over the past few years, culminating them gaining two MEP seats at the last European elections. Now BNP leader Nick Griffin intends to stand for parliament in Barking, a constituency where the fascists already have 11 councillors.

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The next six months will be vital for turning the tide against the fascists. UAF stands for uniting everyone who wants to fight back against the BNP and EDL - black and white, gay and straight, people of all religions and none.

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John P said...

Where is that photo from because somebody has been badly airbrushed from it

Anonymous said...

It's probably that councillor from Stoke who was pissed-off with Cyclops who was air-brushed out of the photo by BNP Central Nazi Command, lol!

Anonymous said...

Air brushed and behind cyclops ?

Can only be Barnbrook !

Old Sailor

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't surprise me if it was Dicky Bumbrook stood behind the Cyclops.

Landale said...

@Old Sailor

You're right - it's a left hand so someone *has* been airbrushed out....

Anonymous said...

"Where is that photo from because somebody has been badly airbrushed from it"

could it be a masked EDL supporter propping up griffin or should that be popping up Griffin

Anonymous said...

Steve batking? Longton>

Anonymous said...

"Air brushed and behind cyclops?Can only be Barnbrook !Old Sailor"

How strange! Somebody has been airbrushed out in the background! This reminds me of Stalinist Russia. Photos from the Russian Revolution would be doctored to remove former comrades of 'Uncle' Joe after they fell foul of him.

Maybe it was a former-friend-turned-enemy of Griffin. Interesting to see the BNP using the same tactics.

Anonymous said...

It's the hand on the shoulder that kind of gives it away, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

"Air brushed and behind cyclops?Can only be Barnbrook !Old Sailor"

I think it was John P.

Antifascist said...

The image I used came off the BNP site, here:

The only original (or copy of) that I can find is here:

While you can see the person in the background, the picture is so small I can't get an ID. Anyone?

Antifascist said...

You can see a bit more of him here:

Anonymous said...

Do you think airbrush man is
this BNP councillor (pictured in Brum on the day the EDL turned up)?

mustache and face shape look right...

He is less smiley with egg on his face though! :-)

Anonymous said...

Or possibly this one, assuming he's different - the BNP's gene-pool limiting strategy makes it hard to tell them apart...

Stoke councillor Anthony Simmonds

Long Tall Sally said...

The third man was missing from this photo when the Sun used it:

Former Stoke BNP Branch Secretary Craig Pond, who parted company with the party allegedly over political differences (but is widely believed to have been distanced by the leadership as his rants don't help their attempts at a squeaky-clean image) was singing the praises of Michael Coleman a few weeks ago in a grovelling letter to the local paper: