The British National Party promised to spend nearly half a million pounds on its general election campaign. In the event it paid out a mere £29,460 according to its election expenses return published today.
When the BNP launched its general election campaign fund on 10 April, it claimed it had already raised £275,000 towards the £455,000 cost of its campaign, and had paid £100,000 towards the £150,000 cost of printing 15 million leaflets “specially designed by industry experts to ensure maximum response and impact”. Either that statement or the party’s election expenses return – or both – must be untrue.
People who responded to the party’s appeals to “to save the country that our War Heroes fought and died for” by helping “the BNP get elected to local councils and to Parliament” must be wondering where their donations went.
The BNP has also breached electoral law by not having its expenses return audited. Parties that spent more than £250,000 on last year’s European election and the general election combined were required to submit an audited account. The BNP’s return showed expenditure of £313,217 on the two elections, but the box for the auditor’s name and address was blank.
Another unlikely element of the return, which was signed by Clive Jefferson, the BNP’s moronic national treasurer and elections officer, is the nil figure for unpaid invoices, despite revelations by former BNP officers that the party owes printers and other businesses large sums of money. Eddy Butler, who unsuccessfully challenged Griffin for the BNP leadership in summer, commented today that several of the invoices included in the return were unpaid.
Most of the claimed expenditure of £29,460 went on leaflets and newspapers, with only £562 devoted to the BNP’s television broadcast. No wonder it was so awful. The return also shows nothing spent on advertising. Yet on 30 April Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, appealed for donations to pay for newspaper advertisements in “working class target areas” in the final days of the campaign.
Another surprising revelation is that Sentinel Publications Limited spent nothing on the election campaign. Adam Walker, the BNP’s staff manager, registered the company as a third party campaigner for the election and BNP members distributed a nasty 12-page antisemitic newspaper in Barking and Dagenham that bore the company’s imprint. Butler recently described it as a “ridiculous anti-Hodge newspaper” and said party activists had to use “black marker pens to cross out an anti-Jewish remark”.
Even if Sentinel Publications Limited persuaded a printer to produce it for nothing, the value of the “notional expenditure” should have been declared.
Meanwhile Griffin has announced that he is to launch legal action to have the “Barking and Dagenham” election result overturned, claiming that Margaret Hodge, the Labour victor, lied during the campaign. Griffin stood against Hodge in Barking in the general election, but now reveals he was so much of an outsider that he does not even know the constituency name.
Griffin’s complaint follows the broadcast of the Channel 4 documentary The Battle for Barking on 30 November in which Hodge was recorded telling a public meeting that the BNP wants non-white people expelled from the country, dropped from an aeroplane or helicopter and left in the sea.
Over the past year Griffin has bankrupted the BNP through a series of reckless legal actions. He appears set on pursuing more of the same.
Hope not hate