British Democratic Party (2013)
|Founded||9 February 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).
The party's inaugural president was Andrew Brons, a then 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
Nick Lowles, of Hope not Hate, believes the party will be a serious threat to the BNP. "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". Mathew Collins, also of Hope not Hate, predicted that the party would espouse policies of scientific racism and Holocaust denial, ideas from which the BNP, under Griffin, distanced themselves.
The British Democrats support putting the reintroduction of the death penalty to a referendum/people's vote.
The party wishes to withdraw the UK 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%).
In the 2017 general election, the BDP did not field any candidates.
- Collins, Matthew (8 February 2013). "Neo-Nazi former BNP members launch new far-right party". New Statesman. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- 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
- "James Lewthwaite". Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- 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. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- "General Election: Andrew Moffat Candidate for: Bognor Regis & Littlehampton", The Argus
- "The launch of the BDP", Radix
- Electoral Commission: Registration summary
- "British Democratic Party". Retrieved 2 February 2016.
- "Election preview 2013". Heritage and Destiny. 5 April 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.
- Newsnight (10 April 2013). BBC.
- "Election Results Leicestershire County Council 2013". Leicestershire County Council. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013.
- Election Results 2013, Lancashire County Council.
- "Double success for Labour in Loughborough and Shepshed by-elections", Leicester Mercury, 25 October 2013
- Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Statement of persons nominated
- Leeds City Council, Statement of persons nominated Archived 2 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
- Newcastle City Council, Statement of persons nominated
- London Borough of Redbridge, Hainault ward accessible from Statement of nominated persons
- Charnwood Borough Council: Declaration of result of poll
- "Bradford East". BBC News. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- Gable, Gerry (25 January 2013). "Hope Not Hate puts its money on the BNP for 2013" (blog post). Searchlight. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
- Gable, Sonia (1 November 2012). "How the British Democratic Party was born". Searchlight. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
- Gable, Sonia (31 January 2013). "British Democratic Party to launch nationally" (blog post). Searchlight. Retrieved 8 February 2013.