A controversial BNP election candidate is being investigated by police after he posed as a soldier
Adam Walker wore desert fatigues while campaigning alongside the far-right party’s leader, Nick Griffin. But Walker, 41 – who is standing in Bishop Auckland, County Durham – is no longer a serving member of the Armed Forces and might have broken the law by dressing as one.
Police were alerted when a member of the public made a complaint.Walker, who was a member of the Royal Armoured Corps from 1985 to 1990, claims he has done nothing wrong. At the rally in Barking, Essex, last weekend, he was asked if he was a real soldier and admitted he wasn’t. But he said: “I’m wearing this uniform in solidarity with our boys in Afghanistan.”
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “We have received a complaint and officers will now decide what action, if any, is required.”
Walker could be charged with a breach of the 1894 Uniforms Act which says that wearing a military uniform without permission can “bring contempt” on the Army. If convicted, he could face up to a month in prison or a hefty fine.
His appearance at the rally was labelled “disgraceful” by serving soldiers and Forces’ organisations. A spokesman for the ABF soldiers’ charity said: “There is no place in the Army for racism or politics. Nick Griffin should know better.” One soldier using an online forum said: “This is disgraceful. The scumbag should be prosecuted.”
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “Neither serving nor retired military personnel are permitted to wear uniform in support of political activities as this could undermine the impartiality of the Armed Forces.”
It is not the first time that former teacher Walker, of Spennymoor, County Durham, has attracted controversy. In 2007, he was caught posting alleged slurs against asylum seekers, immigrants and homosexuality on the BNP’s website during lesson time at the sports college where he worked. He left the college shortly after the scandal broke but claimed the comments had no link to his work. He is awaiting a General Teacher Council hearing.