May 14, 2007

BNP throws out 'lazy' councillor

One of the seven British National Party councillors on Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been thrown out of the political group.The far-right group got three more seats at last week's local elections, but lost sitting councillor Steve Batkin in Longton North.

Fellow Longton North councillor Mark Leat now appears to have paid the price for Mr Batkin's defeat. He has been removed from the group amid accusations he did not work hard enough. The decision leaves the BNP with six of the 60 seats on the city council.

BNP group leader Albert Walker said: "I am removing the party whip from councillor Mark Leat and he will no longer be part of the BNP group. We consider he is not a team player. He places unreasonable demands on the group and although he has done a very good job as chairman of the council's health scrutiny commission, his performance in other areas has been lacking, particularly in his ward where his work fell on to former BNP councillor Steve Batkin.

"He failed to help Steve Batkin in his election campaign, which contributed to Steve losing his seat in Longton North. We hold no malice towards Mark. We feel this will send out a clear message that only serious people who are prepared to work hard at their positions as ward councillors will be considered to be part of the BNP group."

Mr Leat, who was elected in 2004, rejected the accusations. He said: "I'm in a state of shock. I feel like I've been stabbed in the back." He added: "If you speak to people in my ward they will tell you I have done a considerable amount. I got fencing round the old people's bungalows on Kendrick Street - they were delighted. I have got people council houses and got money for the bowling club on Anchor Road and Longton Rugby Club.

"I have been doing a lot of things, and I think this is just a sour grapes. In the run-up to the elections, Steve Batkin was dragged around other wards to help out there, and Longton was neglected. I went round knocking on doors asking people to vote for him."

It is understood Mr Leat is keen to become a Conservative councillor in the authority's Conservative and Independent Alliance, but that will have to be approved by Tory central office.

The Sentinel


Anonymous said...

What a load of crap. This is just the BNP doing their usual stupid trick of trying to say someone who has caused problems has been dealt with by them - covering up the chaos in the party as usual.
Leat has been listed as a non-aligned Independent on the Stoke Council website for at least a week. It's a bit late for a cover-up.
Regarding the Tory party - whether they'll be interested in Leat is debatable. I'd imagine Cameron will demand he publicly recants all BNP rhetoric before he's allowed in the fold. That's what I'd do.

Anonymous said...

More BNP bullshit .