By Lena de Casparis
Last night the Bromley and Lewisham branch of the British National Party (BNP) held a meeting to discuss the recent changes to the organisation of the group and plans for the future. Bob Bailey, BNP regional coordinator, who attended the meeting, said that the party is currently going through “phenomenal growth” of membership. While no candidates stood in Lewisham in the last local election, Bailey confirmed this would soon change: “We aim to have at least one person standing in each borough by the next election.”
Reverend Paul Butler of St Paul’s church in Deptford has been involved in anti-BNP campaigning for many years. Dubbed the Red Rev due to his socialist ideals and the red star worn on his robe, Father Butler believes the BNP will never succeed in his parish due to its ethnic diversity. He said: “Where there are healthy multicultural communities, like in Lewisham, the Nazis won’t do well.” He continued: “The more mixed up we become the harder it is for these type of ideas to come in.”
A spokesperson for Lewisham Anti-Racist Action Group, who wished to remain anonymous, agreed with the Red Rev but warned the European election poses a more immediate threat.
“South east London needs to start looking at our strategy for the European election as this is where the BNP could pose a real threat.” – A Lewisham Anti-Racist Action Group source
Mr Bailey confirmed the spokesperson’s fear saying: “We are working hard towards the Euro election and have already handed out 150,000 leaflets.”
(Photo Credit: SF Gate)