British Democratic Party (2013)

The British Democratic Party, commonly known as the British Democrats, is a British far-right political party. It was launched in 2013 in a village hall in Leicestershire by a ten-member steering committee which included former members of several political parties including the British National Party (BNP), Democratic Nationalists, Freedom Party and UK Independence Party (UKIP).[1]

British Democratic Party
ChairmanJames Lewthwaite
Founded9 February 2013 (9 February 2013)
HeadquartersLoughborough, Leicestershire
Political positionFar-right

The party's inaugural president was Andrew Brons, then a Member of the European Parliament (MEP).[1] Brons had been a member of the BNP and a leading member of the National Front (NF). The steering committee included a number of others with a history of membership in fascist and neo-Nazi groups,[2] who believed that the BNP had been corrupted and watered-down.[1]


Brons resigned from the BNP in October 2012, after a failed campaign to unseat Nick Griffin as leader of the party in 2011. A number of other disillusioned BNP members have joined him, including Kevin Scott, founder and director of Civil Liberty, who is acting as the interim chairman of the BDP, and who used to be a party organiser for the British National Party in the North East. Other prominent members of the party include:

  • Adrian Davies, a longstanding critic of Griffin and a former Conservative member and former Freedom Party chairman, who wrote the party's constitution and registered the party name,
  • John Bean, the former editor of the British National Party magazine Identity,
  • James Lewthwaite, a former Bradford councillor, who along with others established the Democratic Nationalists in 2010, and who stood for the Democratic Nationalists,[3]
  • Julian Leppert, who had been a councillor in London Borough of Redbridge and stood for London Mayor for the British National Party,[4] and
  • Andrew Moffat, a former UKIP and BNP[5] parliamentary candidate who worked with Andrew Brons in the European Parliament[6]

In 2013, Nick Lowles, of Hope not Hate, believed the party would be a serious threat to the BNP, commenting "The BDP brings together all of the hardcore Holocaust deniers and racists that have walked away from the BNP over the last two to three years, plus those previously, who could not stomach the party’s image changes.... They and the BNP already have a mutual hatred of each other and neither party will stop until they’ve killed the other one off. The gloves will be off and it will be toxic".[1]

Andrew Brons has been the leader of the British Democratic Party since its foundation on 9 February 2013.[7]


The British Democrats support putting the reintroduction of the death penalty to a referendum/people's vote. They are committed to "ending all immigration" and wish to repeal laws that they perceive as mandating preferential treatment for immigrants and ethnic minorities.[8]

The party campaigned for the UK's withdrawal from the European Union, citing the cost and what it sees as a lack of democracy within EU institutions.[8]

Electoral performance

The party fielded three candidates in the 2013 English County Council elections:[9] two in north Leicestershire and one in Pendle, Lancashire. In Leicestershire, the party polled 215 votes (7.4%) in Coalville and 206 votes (7.4%) in Loughborough South,[10] while in Lancashire it polled 133 (4.0%).[11]

In a by-election for the Loughborough Hastings ward of Charnwood Borough Council on 24 October 2013, the British Democrats polled 85 votes (9.4%).[12]

The party did not contest the May 2014 European Parliament election, but stood candidates in the local elections: two in Bradford,[13] one in Leeds,[14] three in Newcastle upon Tyne[15] and one in the London Borough of Redbridge.[16]

In a by-election for the Thurmaston Ward of Charnwood Borough Council on 31 July 2014, the British Democrats polled 94 votes (5.1%) beating the BNP into fifth place with 58 votes (3.2%).[17]

In the 2015 United Kingdom general election, the party nominated one candidate, Jim Lewthwaite in Bradford East. He won 210 votes, 0.5% of the total cast.[18]


  1. Collins, Matthew (8 February 2013). "Neo-Nazi former BNP members launch new far-right party". New Statesman. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  2. Ray Mount, "British Democratic Party launches and promises it will belong to its members" Archived 3 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Searchlight, 1 March 2013
  3. "James Lewthwaite". Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
  4. Mount, Ray (1 March 2013). "British Democratic Party launches and promises it will belong to its members". Searchlight. Archived from the original on 3 July 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
    - "Successful British Democratic Party London Launch 30.05.13". British Democratic Party. 2 June 2013. Archived from the original on 13 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  5. "General Election: Andrew Moffat Candidate for: Bognor Regis & Littlehampton" Archived 2018-04-07 at the Wayback Machine, The Argus
  6. "The launch of the BDP", Radix Archived 2017-07-06 at the Wayback Machine
  7. Electoral Commission: Registration summary
  8. "British Democratic Party". Archived from the original on 2 February 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  9. "Election preview 2013". Heritage and Destiny. 5 April 2013. Archived from the original on 27 May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
    - Newsnight (10 April 2013). BBC.
  10. "Election Results Leicestershire County Council 2013". Leicestershire County Council. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
  11. Election Results 2013, Lancashire County Council.
  12. "Double success for Labour in Loughborough and Shepshed by-elections" Archived 2015-04-18 at the Wayback Machine, Leicester Mercury, 25 October 2013
  13. Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Statement of persons nominated
  14. Leeds City Council, Statement of persons nominated Archived 2 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  15. Newcastle City Council, Statement of persons nominated
  16. London Borough of Redbridge, Hainault ward accessible from Statement of nominated persons Archived 2014-05-17 at the Wayback Machine
  17. Charnwood Borough Council: Declaration of result of poll
  18. "Bradford East". BBC News. Retrieved 13 May 2015.

Further reading