Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, is hoping to seize back the initiative and regain his members’ confidence by setting up a new campaigns executive.
Headed by Clive Jefferson, the man who replaced Eddy Butler as the party’s national elections officer, it is intended to “coordinate and marshal the entire Party for the purpose of winning elections”.
The new structures are also intended to consolidate the hold of Griffin and his “consultant” Jim Dowson on the party. Paul Golding, another diehard Griffin loyalist, has been put in charge of a new “communications and publicity department” encompassing media and communications, the BNP website, publicity and design. The new department has been “designed and researched by Midas Consultants and Mr Golding”, the party website announ-ced in an attempt to counter the attacks on Jim Dowson, one of whose many businesses is Midas Consultants.
During election campaigns the campaigns executive will “converge on” the BNP’s “operations centre”. A BNP email requesting donations to equip it did not disclose where it was, but Searchlight can reveal its location in Unit 13, Salmon Springs Trading Estate in Stroud.
Three rooms in the unit were leased by Adlorries.com Ltd, one of Dowson’s companies, for three years from spring 2009 at a rent of £5,000 a year. They were to be used as a training centre for the BNP run by Michaela Mackenzie, but have remained empty after the party sacked her from her posts as administration officer and national nominating officer. Like many in the BNP it appears she clashed with Dowson. She has appealed to the employment tribunal, another case that could leave the BNP with a large legal bill.
Mike Howson, a former military trainer and Griffin’s bully boy in the South West, will now run the BNP’s training department there. Howson, the BNP’s ageing national youth officer, took over from Peter Mullins as the BNP’s South West regional organiser and promptly instigated his suspension from the party.
Simon Bennett, the BNP’s former webmaster, claims that Howson was one of those who tried to confront the party leadership over Dowson’s “dodgy dealings and history”, but after they were all “frog-marched to a court style hearing”, Howson folded “like a pack of cards” and is now “a poodle to Jim Dowson”.
Sonia Gable in Searchlight