The New Statesman’s rolling politics blog

RSS

Who is the BNP’s “soldier”?

The far-right party exploits the war in Afghanistan for a propaganda stunt.

Today's Metro reports that the BNP leader Nick Griffin, who is standing for parliament in Barking, Essex, was criticised for campaigning alongside a man in army uniform at the weekend. The far-right, anti-immigration party, which is hoping to pick up votes by playing on people's disquiet at the war in Afghanistan, was criticised by a soldiers' charity, ABS, which said there was "no place in the army for racism or politics".

Metro claims not to know whether the man pictured with Griffin is a serving soldier. However, I can reveal he is no such thing: his name is Adam Walker, 41, a BNP member and former teacher who faces being struck off by the General Teaching Council for posting racist messages on the internet during a lesson.

On Saturday he was parading in front of news cameras gathered in Barking to cover the BNP's campaign launch. Asked if he was a real soldier, he admitted he wasn't. "I'm wearing this uniform in solidarity with our boys in Afghanistan," Walker said.

You can read a full report on the BNP's campaign in Barking in Thursday's magazine.