Two taxi drivers have won two by-election seats for the British National Party in Heybridge in Essex after standing under the ‘Fighting Unsustainable Housing Because We Care’ banner rather than the BNP banner itself.
So it’s unclear how many voters were aware of their BNP connections when they ran campaigning to stop unsustainable housing developments in the area.
The BNP now claim six seats on a parish council of ’11 or 12 in total’ meaning they have a majority. Though perhaps they should check precisely how many councillors there are before declaring that definitively.
Meanwhile, from 200 miles away, the BNP’s candidate in Batley & Spen (Jo Cox’s constituency), David Furness, appeared in a YouTube video for the party crowing about the Heybridge results and his own Batley & Spen ‘third place’ (2.7% of the vote) after the non-Labour mainstream parties declined to run. He declared that the Heybridge results were:
“the first time a national party have taken control of a council.”
Furness also expressed a hope that there would soon be a BNP mayor in Heybridge.
Councillor Perry, the group’s leader on Heybridge parish council, justified the decision to stand under a localised name by saying the group is about ‘local issues not national issues’.
Though the BNP’s YouTube crowing would suggest otherwise.