Vote 2012: BNP blames finances for fewer Welsh council candidates
19 April 2012
A big drop in the number of British National Party (BNP) candidates standing at next month's local elections in Wales has been blamed on recent financial problems.
The party is fielding two candidates, down from 29 last time in 2008.
The BNP said the decline followed cuts it had had to make, but that the party was recovering.
A spokesman said it was focusing resources on the London mayoral election, where it hopes to do well.
The last time Wales' 1,200 council seats were contested four years ago the BNP had candidates standing for 10 councils.
On 3 May there will be one candidate in Blaenau Gwent and another in Wrexham.
The BNP has faced debts following court cases brought against it, including one by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
It also had to pay an out-of-court settlement to Marmite for using a jar of the spread in a party broadcast.
We have had to cut back, modify and pay back various bits and bobs... that's manifested itself in the number of candidates we are able to put up said Simon Darby, BNP deputy leader.
Leader Nick Griffin, who became an MEP in 2009, has also had to see off a challenge to his position.
At last year's Welsh assembly election the BNP received more than 29,000 votes, a 1.6% share.
Jeff Hurford, secretary of Unite Against Fascism (UAF) Wales, said the BNP had failed to make an electoral breakthrough in Wales.
Mr Hurford, a member of the Socialist Workers Party, said: "It's a severe decline [in candidates]. It's difficult to see that the BNP is going to recover".
BNP media spokesman Simon Darby said: "For the last two years we have had to cut back, modify and pay back various bits and bobs. That's manifested itself in the number of candidates we are able to put up.
"The fact is that we have struggled with one or two things over the last year, including the leadership challenge."
Although the leadership contest had been "quite a bitter feud... that's over and done with", he said.
He claimed that the party's finances were recovering, thanks to a legacy from a supporter.