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).
|Founded||9 February 2013|
The party's inaugural president was Andrew Brons, then a Member of the European Parliament (MEP). 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, who believed that the BNP had been corrupted and watered-down.
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,
- Julian Leppert, who had been a councillor in London Borough of Redbridge and stood for London Mayor for the British National Party, and
- Andrew Moffat, a former UKIP and BNP parliamentary candidate who worked with Andrew Brons in the European Parliament
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".
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.
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.
The party fielded three candidates in the 2013 English County Council elections: 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, while in Lancashire it polled 133 (4.0%).
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%).
The party did not contest the May 2014 European Parliament election, but stood candidates in the local elections: two in Bradford, one in Leeds, three in Newcastle upon Tyne and one in the London Borough of Redbridge.
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%).
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