For Britain Movement


The For Britain Movement is a minor[6] far-right[2][3][7] political party in the United Kingdom, founded by the anti-Islam activist Anne Marie Waters after she was defeated in the 2017 UK Independence Party leadership election.

The For Britain Movement
LeaderAnne Marie Waters
FounderAnne Marie Waters
FoundedOctober 2017
Split fromUK Independence Party
HeadquartersFairfax House
6A Mill Field Road
Cottingley Business Park
Bradford
BD16 1PY[1]
Ideology
Political positionFar-right[2][3]
European affiliationIdentity and Democracy Party[4]
Local government[5]
1 / 19,698
Website
forbritain.uk

History


The far-right activist Anne Marie Waters left UKIP and formed For Britain after she and her supporters were described as "Nazis and racists" by Henry Bolton and UKIP's former leader Nigel Farage. The name is taken from her UKIP leadership campaign slogan, "Anne Marie For Britain". Waters said that the party would "speak to the forgotten people".[3] On 9 March 2018, For Britain registered with the Electoral Commission, a requirement for any political party wishing to put up candidates in elections and to solicit donations for campaigns, as "The For Britain Movement".[8]

The party received the support of Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the English Defence League.[2] Its platform includes reducing Muslim immigration to the UK to near zero, and to "bring the entire EU project down".[9] Sean O'Driscoll, writing in The Times after Waters had announced her intention to form a party, but before it had been launched, described the proposed party as intending to fill the space left by the demise of the British National Party (BNP).[10] In November 2017, the far-right British nationalist political party Liberty GB merged into For Britain.[11] In April 2018, the singer-songwriter Morrissey declared his support for For Britain.[12]

The party fielded fifteen candidates in the 2018 local elections, none being elected.[13] The party came last in almost all the seats it contested.[14] In June 2018, the party expelled two of its local election candidates after Hope Not Hate linked one of them to the proscribed neo-Nazi group National Action and the white nationalist group Generation Identity, and showed another as having posted racist and anti-Semitic content on social media.[13] The party briefly had one councillor, who sat on Stoke-on-Trent City Council. Richard Broughan, who was elected as a UKIP councillor in 2015, had previously been suspended from UKIP and suspended from a group of local independents before being expelled after a caution for assault.[15] Broughan lost his seat to Labour in the 2019 local elections, coming in last place in his ward.[16]

Some former BNP figures who are unable to join UKIP have headed For Britain meetings, including former councillors and the expelled former election chief Eddy Butler.[17] The party has been associated with a number of figures from the extreme right, including the Traditional Britain Group and Generation Identity.[18] In September 2018, the media personality Katie Hopkins and writer and political commentator Ingrid Carlqvist, who has been accused of Holocaust denial, spoke at For Britain's conference. The American author Robert Spencer, then banned from entering the UK, appeared via video.[19] Before the conference, Hope Not Hate published results of an internal poll from the party, showing nearly half of For Britain's members supported a ban on immigration from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia.[20]

The party made a complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) about a newspaper column in the The Northern Echo which described the party as far-right. IPSO ruled in favour of The Northern Echo, saying that many of the party's characteristics "are established conventions of both national socialism and far-right ideology".[21]

In November 2020, Julian Leppert, a For Britain councillor on Epping Forest District Council, was formally sanctioned by the council and made to attend classes on equality and diversity. He had spread false claims about local asylum seekers, and answered in the affirmative when asked by The Guardian if he wanted to set up a "whites-only enclave".[22]

In December 2020, Karen King, a councillor for the party in Hartlepool, described coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic as "scaremongering".[23]

Electoral performance


Parliamentary elections

Waters contested the 2018 Lewisham East by-election, receiving 266 votes (1.2% of the total) and losing her deposit.[24] In April 2019, the For Britain candidate, Hugh Nicklin, came last in the Newport West by-election with 159 votes, a 0.7% share.[25] Waters will also contest the 2021 Batley and Spen by-election.[26]

Date of election Constituency Candidate Votes %
14 June 2018 Lewisham East Anne Marie Waters 266 1.2[27]
4 April 2019 Newport West Hugh Nicklin 159 0.7[28]
1 July 2021 Batley and Spen Anne Marie Waters

Local elections

In the 2019 local elections, For Britain lost its only incumbent councillor, Richard Broughan (elected as UKIP to Stoke City Council) who had defected to the party. The party won two seats, one in De Bruce ward on Hartlepool Borough Council,[29] and one in Waltham Abbey Paternoster on Epping Forest District Council.[30]

In the 2021 United Kingdom local elections, For Britain nominated 60 council candidates, of which the advocacy group Hope Not Hate identified ten as former members of the BNP.[31] The party had no successes, with 25 of the 47 candidates whose election results were published first receiving under 50 votes each.[32] The party's councillor for De Bruce ward in Hartlepool lost her seat, serving only two years due to changes in council boundaries. Waters also unsuccessfully stood for election for the party in De Bruce ward.[33]

References


  1. "View registration". search.electoralcommission.org.uk. The Electoral Commission. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  2. Humphries, Will (12 October 2017). "Ukip loser Anne Marie Waters will start far-right party". The Times. London. Retrieved 14 October 2017. (subscription required)
  3. "Former UKIP leadership candidate to launch new far-right party". Politico. 12 October 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  4. "We Changed Our Name !". Identity and Democracy Party. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  5. "Councillor Julian Leppert". Epping Forest District Council. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  6. Bull, Simon (17 July 2018). "News Shopper cleared by Ipso after For Britain complaint". News Shopper. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  7. Rossiter, Keith (10 April 2018). "How the Liberal Democrats are making a comeback in Plymouth".
    - Pidd, Helen (18 May 2018). "Manchester victim's brother voices 'hostile environment' fears". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  8. "Registration summary - The For Britain Movement". electoralcommission.org.uk. Electoral Commission. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  9. Luke Dolan (12 October 2017). "For Britain: The new political party launched by Ukip 'islamophobe' Anne-Marie Waters". Talk Radio.
  10. O’Driscoll, Sean (10 October 2017). "Ukip reject Anne Marie Waters founds own far-right party". The Times. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  11. An Important Announcement from Paul Weston concerning the future of Liberty GB at the Wayback Machine (archived 2018-07-23)
  12. Telegraph Reporters (17 April 2018). "Morrissey tackles Brexit, Hitler and hard-to-find eggs in bizarre self-published interview". The Telegraph.
  13. "Meet the For Britain". Hope Not Hate. 26 April 2018.
  14. Andersson, Jasmine (4 May 2018). "Local elections 2018: The far-right loses out, and which LGBT+ councillors have secured a seat?". Pink News.
    - Walker, Peter (4 May 2018). "Ukip general secretary says party is 'like the Black Death'". The Guardian.
  15. "For Britain's only councillor banned from Stoke council premises". HOPE not hate. 20 June 2018. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
    - Corrigan, Phil (8 June 2018). "Should voters have the right to recall councillors?". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  16. S, Serina; hu (3 May 2019). "Local elections 2019: Far-right For Britain wins first elected councillors". inews.co.uk. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
    - Andrews, Rob; Corrigan, Phil; McInnes, Kathie; Jackson, Matt; Burn, Joe (3 May 2019). "LIVE: Stoke-on-Trent City Council election results 2019". Stoke Sentinel. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  17. "EXPOSED: Ex-National Action and BNP members active in Anne Marie Waters' For Britain Movement – HOPE not hate". HOPE not hate. 6 June 2018. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  18. "For Britain: a magnet for racists and nazis". HOPE not hate. 19 September 2018. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  19. Nick Ryan (26 September 2018). "Katie Hopkins and Muslim-only prisons: it's far-right conference season, too". New Statesman. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
    - "Katie Hopkins at the For Britain National Conference 2018". Youtube. For Britain. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
    - Townsend, Mark (23 September 2018). "Katie Hopkins to speak at far-right rally with Holocaust denier". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  20. "For Britain's extreme policy plans leaked". HOPE not hate. 21 September 2018. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  21. Twitter, PA Media Lawyer (15 February 2019). "Newspaper column's description of For Britain Movement as 'far right' was not inaccurate, IPSO rules". Press Gazette. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  22. Cowen, James (11 November 2020). "Epping Councillor sanctioned over Bell Hotel asylum seekers video". Epping Forest Guardian. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  23. Marko, Nic (20 December 2020). "Councillor blasted after saying covid coverage was 'scaremongering'". Teesside Live. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  24. "Lewisham East by-election results 2018". Lewisham London Borough Council. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  25. "Labour wins Newport West by-election". BBC News. 5 April 2019. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  26. "Batley and Spen by-election candidates confirmed". BBC News. 7 June 2021. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  27. "Lewisham East constituency by-election on 14 June 2018". Lewisham London Borough Council. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  28. "Newport West By-election results". Newport City Council.
  29. Hartlepool Borough Council: Declaration of Result of Poll, 3 May 2019. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  30. Serina Sandhu (3 May 2019). "Local elections 2019 results: Far-right For Britain Movement wins first elected councillors". The i. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  31. Lawrence, David. "For Britain, the BNP and Epping Forest: a History". Hope Not Hate. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  32. "Far-right candidates perform dismally across UK elections". The Guardian. 9 May 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  33. "How all 108 candidates fared in the Hartlepool Borough Council elections". Hartlepool Mail. Retrieved 9 May 2021.