A COUNCIL candidate has been pictured brandishing a gun.
Rachel Firth, who is standing for the British National Party (BNP) in Thursday’s Kirklees Council elections, was photographed holding a handgun.
The Skelmanthorpe mother-of-two was pictured along with other senior party activists at a campsite.
Mrs Firth, who is the BNP’s Kirklees organiser, was snapped standing next to a Renault aiming a black handgun.
The weapon is believed to be a replica.
Mrs Firth’s boyfriend Danny Cooke, BNP organiser in Barnsley, is also pictured brandishing a gun.
Salford candidates Gary Tumulty and Keith Fairhurst were snapped posing with replica automatic weapons.
The photos were taken at a BNP St George’s Day celebration at Hooton Lodge Country Inn campsite near Rotherham.
The manager of the campsite is believed to have been unaware of the fact the get-together was organised by the BNP and that replica guns would be used.
Mrs Firth, who is standing for the BNP in Denby Dale in Thursday’s Kirklees election, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
The pictures are believed to have appeared on Facebook last weekend before being reproduced on the Hope Not Hate website run by anti-fascist group Searchlight.
The pictures include a snap of three men mooning to the camera.
Earlier this month the Examiner revealed that many BNP activists in Kirklees had left the party in protest at the leadership of Nick Griffin.
The defectors, who have joined the English Democrats, complained of the BNP’s “terrible image”.
David Exley, a former BNP councillor for Heckmondwike, is among those who have quit the party.
He said yesterday that the pictures of party members brandishing guns vindicated his decision to leave.
Mr Exley said: “When I joined the BNP, I joined what I thought was a serious political party with serious aims and people who wanted to achieve those aims by democratic means.
“But all the people who have tried to do that have been got rid of by Nick Griffin.
“All the quality people have now gone and, as you can see in these pictures, we’re left with a bunch of idiots.
“I’m glad I’m out of the BNP.”
Clr Andrew Cooper, who leads the four-strong Green group on Kirklees Council, also condemned the pictures yesterday. The Newsome man said: “If this is how the BNP celebrate St George’s Day, then they are out-of-touch with what it means to be English.
“We’re not the sort of country like the US where lots of people have guns.
“We’re a civilised country which doesn’t use guns as common currency.
“I think this is part of the culture of the BNP, it’s a party which believes in allowing large-scale gun ownership.
“I’m very suspicious of any politician who uses guns as an acceptable photo opportunity.”
Huddersfield Daily Examiner