The Welsh wing of the far-right British National Party is said to be in turmoil after a Llandybie community councillor tore up his membership following the Guardian's coverage of an assault carried out by a party member.
According to Cllr Kevin Edwards, the Guardian's reporting of BNP member Roger Phillips' attack on Adam Margetts in Cross Hands on December 20 has set the party back years in Wales. The Llandybie councillor says he resigned after a meeting of party organisers went back on a pledge from BNP leader Nick Griffin to have Mr Phillips dismissed from the party.
Mr Griffin had sent Cllr Edwards an email regarding Mr Phillips' actions, stating: "He's got to go. I'm shocked that this was not dealt with in South Wales ages ago."
However, Cllr Edwards claims that the party's refusal to oust "thuggish" Mr Phillips, has left him no choice but to cut all links with the BNP.
"My mobile number never stopped with calls from distraught ex and current members who were deeply disturbed over this incident that has set the BNP back years in west Wales," said Cllr Edwards, who will continue to stand as a "Justice 4 Linda Lewis Campaign" councillor at Llandybie. Last year fellow Llandybie community councillor Meirion Bowen also resigned from the BNP.
Following his resignation, Cllr Edwards' blog was inundated with messages of support from party members.
"This is a very serious and major setback for the profile of the BNP in Wales," said one anonymous poster.
South Wales Guardian