Skip to content or view screen version

BNP councillor resigns

Durruti | 10.02.2008 20:53 | Stop the BNP's Red White and Blue festival | Anti-racism

British National Party member, Alan Warner, has resigned from Heanor Town Council and Denby Parish Council because he's upset that everybody else keeps ignoring him.

Warner claims that both roles were a waste of time. He complained: "I wasn't getting any cooperation from the councillors in Heanor and nobody spoke to me at the meetings. I just started to think 'I'm wasting my time here.'

"The parish and town councils have no power what so ever. The borough council takes no notice of their comments I can assure you of that. I think they represent the council's officers rather than the people that elected them.

"I've got a daughter to look after and a small holding with animals that take up a lot of my time. I can't be out until 10pm at night not getting anywhere."

The resignation is of particular interest to local anti-fascists because land owned by Warner was used last year for the BNP's annual Red White and Blue festival, an event which looks set to be repeated in the same place this year.

The festival attracts BNP members from across the country and generated massive local opposition, with more than seventy submissions to the Amber Valley Council licensing panel urging them to refuse a public entertainment licence for the event.

This year the event has been targeted by Nottinghamshire Stop the BNP who have stated their intention to prevent it taking place. In January they organised a regional conference to initiate this campaign which attracted more than 100 participants.

Warner has insisted that his decision to step down has nothing to do with a recent split in the party which was precipitated by the expulsion of several leading members including Broxtowe Borough Councillor Sadie Graham.

It had previously appeared that Warner had sided with Graham in this split and was witholding his land until she and others were reinstated. Indeed, he went so far as to state that "if it wasn't for the hard work of Sadie then I would never have been elected."

He is now rather more equivocal in his support, noting, "I don't know if Sadie Graham will get anywhere. You don't always agree with everything that's going off but you always back the party. I support the BNP party. The Red White and Blue festival will be back on this land again later this year."

Unfortunately, it doesn't look likely that Warner's resignation will necessarily remove the BNP's presence from the councils on which he sat. Warner asserted, "Someone else from the party will stand in my place straight away. I'm assuming the party will put someone forward for the position."

Heanor and Loscoe Town Council have confirmed that the seat will be advertised with by-election being held in the event that more than one candidate comes forward. If no interest is shown then the position will not be left vacant. Instead, existing councillors can co-opt somebody onto the council themselves.

Ripley & Heanor News: