The statement below is, according to Eddy Butler, who, let us remember, is in a position to know whereof he writes, a press statement which was drafted by Mr Griffin last year, and, though never released, was used to exert influence on Richard Barnbrook to acquiesce in Mr Griffin's poaching of the Barking parliamentary constituency for himself, as the seat in the country most likely to elect a British National Party MP.
The statement pulls no punches about Richard's perceived shortcomings as an elected representative, and politician. One has to ask the question, though: exactly when did Mr Griffin first become aware of this litany of failings in his once blue-eyed boy, Mr Richard Barnbrook? It seems to have been around the time that Mr Griffin decided that the electorate of Barking were likely to return a BNP MP to parliament. A prize like that was just too good to go to anyone but the party leader, Mr Griffin no doubt reasoned.
Once that idea had become fixed in Mr Griffin's mind, no doubt all of Richard's many alleged failings began to be borne in on him, and to assume a progressively increasing salience in proportion to the strength of Richard's natural reluctance to be squeezed out of what he, understandably, regarded as the natural reward of his labours in Barking and Dagenham, as the public face of the BNP in the borough.
This unsavoury self-seeking on the part of Mr Griffin raises several questions. Firstly, if Richard Barnbrook were such a "basket case" as Mr Griffin's draft press statement alleges, why was he chosen as the BNP's candidate for Mayor of London, and as number one on the party list for the London Assembly election in 2008? After all, by then he had already served for two years as leader of the BNP group on the Barking and Dagenham borough council, which one would have thought would have been ample time in which to evaluate both the strengths and weaknesses of his performance of his public duties.
No, it was only when Richard appeared to be getting between Mr Griffin and something he wanted for himself, namely the glory and prestige, not to mention the second salary, associated with becoming the BNP's first MP, that Mr Griffin turned against him. Up to that point Mr Griffin could not have cared less that the people of Barking and Dagenham, and of Greater London, were being represented by a man who was not up to the job, if indeed that was the case.
Indeed, the 'settlement' which was reached between Mr Griffin and Mr Barnbrook, shortly before the BNP's annual conference, in November 2009, entailed that whereas Mr Barnbrook agreed to allow Mr Griffin a clear run as the BNP's candidate in Barking at the general election, Mr Griffin, in a cynical quid pro quo, agreed that Mr Barnbrook should be the leader of the Barking and Dagenham council, in the event of the party winning control of it in the London borough council elections of 2010. If Mr Barnbrook were unsuitable to represent the BNP as a member of the London Assembly, as a Barking and Dagenham councillor, or as an MP, as Mr Griffin's draft press statement claims, then how could he be fit to serve as the leader of a London Borough council?
Doesn't this amply confirm, as if any further confirmation were needed, that Mr Griffin always puts his own personal interests first, before those of the party, not to mention the public?
Having observed both Mr Griffin, and Mr Barnbrook, deliver speeches, and engage in debate, I judge that Mr Griffin is somewhat the more accomplished performer. However, Mr Griffin's slight superiority is heavily outweighed by his holocaust-denying baggage, with which Richard is not encumbered. Richard was also well known, and well liked by many of the electors of Barking. Moreover, unlike Mr Griffin, who dwelt hundreds of miles away in North Wales, Richard lived in the constituency of Barking. I am not alone in believing that he would have stood a better chance of being elected than Mr Griffin, and would, almost certainly, have polled an appreciably higher share of the vote at the general election.
A political party can only exist, let alone succeed, through the self-sacrifice and altruism of a large number of individuals coming together to work in a spirit of co-operation, towards goals which transcend the personal, and yet through the sacrifice of the purely personal, fulfil the person.
Mr Griffin appears to understand nothing of this. His naked pursuit of his own material gain, at the expense of both party and principle, has alienated most of the BNP's best activists and, crucially, has destroyed its morale. It is unlikely to appeal to the electorate - who are not fools.
The best, perhaps the only, way in which he can now redeem himself, in the eyes of both his contemporaries, and of history, is quietly to stand down as party leader. He has done the party some service, and we know it. Let him do perhaps the greatest service now, and stand down.
Withdrawal of BNP Whip From London Assembly Member Richard Barnbrook
It is with regret that the British National Party announces the withdrawal of the party whip from Richard Barnbrook, up until now a BNP councillor in Barking and the party's sole Member on the Greater London Assembly.
We are aware that sections of the media will use this as a stick to beat the BNP, and have worked hard to persuade Mr Barnbrook to make the changes to his lifestyle and attitudes which could have avoided this outcome. In the end, however, the party’s short term political convenience has to be put second behind the interests of our voters and the long term need to maintain our reputation for honesty and competence.
We are therefore unable any longer to allow our voters and our members to be abused and let down by a man who, after so much early promise, has let everyone down so badly.
In itself, Richard`s refusal to seek treatment for his alcohol dependency would be his personal problem and tragedy, but this illness is now having a catastrophic impact on Barnbrook the elected politician. The main, but not the only, problems that result are
* His increasingly erratic and poor attendance record at the GLA
* His repeated and personally disloyal attempts to bully and blame staff members and BNP colleagues for his own failings
* His failure to perform his constituency duties, cancelling meetings without warning or valid excuse. The final straw in this regard was his recent decision to go on an Internet blind date rather than take up a request to attend the funeral of a young victim of the London knife crime epidemic on which he was so active when first elected
* His attending meetings and disciplinary hearings, and giving interviews while drunk
* His ignoring repeated warnings and pleas from colleagues not to drink and drive. We make this a matter of public record here in the hope that the resulting possibility of greater police scrutiny will compel him to revert to travelling by public transport and thereby prevent a serious accident that is at present just a matter of time
* His breaking of his personal pledge to give 10 % of his gross salary to the party, giving instead irregular smaller amounts and repeatedly refusing to provide copies of his council pay slip so as to allow a proper assessment of the resulting shortfall
* His repeated approaches to BNP members with requests for donations and 'investments' into private business proposals and unauthorised personal political projects
* His repeated attempts to blackmail the party leadership by threatening to 'go Independent' in the GLA a move which he has actively discussed with senior officials at the GLA and to split the BNP vote in Barking by standing there in the General Election as an Independent under the slogan 'Barnbrook for Barking'
* His underhand efforts to secure BNP staff time and donors' money for his proposed Independent parliamentary campaign by claiming that this is authorised by the party leadership.
* His insistence on acting as an unofficial spokesperson on television and radio. His two most recent performances after his disciplinary hearing and also following Question Time in themselves make it clear that Richard, for all his qualities, would be wholly unsuitable to represent the Party in the highest level of government in Britain and the most demanding debating chamber in the world.
A number of meetings have been held between Mr Barnbrook and members of the BNP leadership in an effort to resolve these and other problems, but it has been impossible to reach a satisfactory outcome. As a result, Richard Barnbrook's status as a BNP councillor and London Assembly Member is revoked with immediate effect. This decision is reversible if he responds to this sacking by seeking and accepting professional help to deal with his alcohol problem, which is clearly the root of all the failings outlined. But failing that he will not be standing as a BNP candidate in any elections for the foreseeable future.
Our council group in Barking and Dagenham will be reduced by one, but will continue to be led by Cllr. Robert Bailey. The two BNP members who are at present working for Mr Barnbrook in the GLA have been informed that it is entirely their own decision as to whether to continue in post should he wish to retain them. As far as we are concerned it is now no different to any civil service job and we wish them well.
We will be announcing our prospective candidate for the Barking constituency following a selection procedure in which Mr Barnbrook will not be considered. We will be going all out to unseat Margaret Hodge and to replace her with a loyal, competent British National Party MP who will serve the electors of Barking with the dedication they deserve.