Cllr Cliff Roper, the British National Party representative for Heanor East on Amber Valley Borough Council, has publicly endorsed Richard Edmonds' campaign for the leadership of the BNP. Cliff is one of the BNP's twelve remaining district/borough and/or county councillors.
The following statement was recently published on Cllr Roper's blog.
Saturday, 21 May 2011
Drift Or Leadership?
The British National Party Chairman, Nick Griffin MEP, has led the party since 1999. Back in 1999, electoral success was rare and the party had not yet captured the imagination of the British public. Under Nick's leadership, the party has undergone a reform of policies and public image, to the point that it is now accepted as a legitimate political party, and to prove that point, it has had extensive success at the ballot box, pinnacling with the election of two Members of the European Parliament in 2009.
However, it can be no secret now that since 2009, the party has failed to monopolise on this success. There has been talk of financial irregularities, leading to two failed leadership challenges. Despite the party's call for freedom of speech for the nationalist point of view within Britain, those associated with the challenges have not been given that luxury, but have been expelled from the party.
However, instead of reassuring the membership over these issues, there has been a consistent silence from the party's Chairman. Furthermore, over the last few months, he has practically gone into hiding, taking virtually no part in this year's election campaigns. Indeed, local groups have had to fight the elections with little support at all from the central party.
Irrespective of the initial arguments and disputes over the management of the party, it is clear that Nick Griffin has, to all intents and purposes, given up the day-to-day tasks of leading the party, whilst resolutely clinging to his position.
Members who were happy to remain in the party, going about their regular party activities, whilst they waited for the leadership to resolve matters, are now becoming increasingly disillusioned as there is no longer any real leadership, but just a gradual aimless drift.
It is for this reason that I feel that it is time for change in the British National Party, and I believe it is right for the future of the party, it's membership, and our supporters, to support the campaign to achieve the election of a new leader, Richard Edmonds.
Richard was born in Hounslow in 1943 and is a veteran nationalist, having been Deputy Chairman and National Organiser of the British National Party from 1982 until 1999, including a spell as Acting Chairman in 1986. More recently, Richard was a member of the party's Advisory Council from 2008 until 2010. He has also fought three General Elections in London constituencies.
Without change, I see no future for the British National Party, and all the hard work of the last several years will be for nothing, with the brightest light in the world of British nationalism fragmenting as it's members drift off to smaller parties without the critical mass to achieve electoral success. I am therefore signing Richard Edmond's nomination papers and urge all other qualifying party members to do the same.
Nominations should be sent to:
Leadership Challenge 2011
PO Box 279