Who is the BNP’s “soldier”?

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

Sign Up

Get the New Statesman's Morning Call email.

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.

Daniel Trilling is the Editor of New Humanist magazine. He was formerly an Assistant Editor at the New Statesman.