June 16, 2007

'I quit' says BNP council row man

British National Party member Peter Pirnie has quit his Kingswear council seat just three days after the controversial decision to co-opt him on to his village parish council.

The 49-year-old bus driver became a councillor on Tuesday and announced his resignation yesterday afternoon amid a wave of criticism over the parish council decision to hand a BNP member a seat.Mr Pirnie said he was quitting because of the strain the row was having on his already disabled wife Sandra.

"I am putting my wife's health first. I have decided to cancel my seat and let them get on with it," he said from his Kingswear home.

He said he had been forced to listen to people attacking him on the radio and had been deluged with media calls at his home. "I have just had enough of them. I don't want anything to do with politics for a while. My wife's health is more important," he added. He accused his critics of being 'nasty, narrow minded and jealous' and added: "I have lived in this parish for 31 years. If this is the sort of thing that people are going to do then let them all get on with it."

Mr Pirnie has stood in local and general elections as a Labour candidate and a BNP candidate but never got in. He stood clearly under a BNP banner for the district council seat in Townstal and the Kingswear parish council's Kingswear ward in last month's local election and came bottom of the poll in both counts. But when it came to putting his name forward as a candidate for co-option onto the Kingswear parish council's Hillhead ward this week he declared himself as an independent. And he, and another two candidates, were duly made councillors by the other seven parish councillors.

The row over his co-option broke as the BNP's official website celebrated Mr Pirnie as the party's first councillor in Devon and the second in the Westcountry.

Kingswear's parish council chairman revealed yesterday that he had given Mr Pirnie an ultimatum - to either quit as a councillor or quit the BNP.

"I understand that he is standing down as a councillor. I am going to his home tonight to collect his resignation and I will be very relieved to do so," he said.

Earlier Mr Hawkins had said that both before the parish council meeting on Tuesday and during it he had asked Mr Pirnie if he was standing as a BNP candidate or as an independent.

"He said he was standing as a resident of Kingswear an independent. On that he was co-opted with the other two candidates."

He went on: "If he had stood as a BNP candidate that parish would never have even considered him. He has lived in Kingswear for a long time. We would not have co-opted a BNP councillor."

Mr Pirnie had insisted his BNP membership would have no bearing on his conduct at the parish council. He said: "I am a member of the BNP but I am not a candidate for the party in Kingswear. When I go into meetings I will leave that at the door."

Herald Express


Anonymous said...

Three days. That must be a record even for BNP riff-raff!

Anonymous said...

Ha Worra laff