Another acrimonious split has emerged in the British National Party, on the eve of the general election. The Nothing British blog reports that the far-right party’s website was taken offline yesterday evening and replaced with an angry message from the BNP’s webmaster, Simon Bennett:
It is with regret that I have been forced to pull this website due to several attempts of theft today with regards to design work and content owned by myself.
It is no secret that I have been in dispute with some elements of the management of the party for sometime now, but had hoped to resolve these issues amicably and AFTER the elections.
However, due to several attempts to steal my work today and combined with the recent deliberate copyright infringement I feel I have been left with no alternative to this action and feel wholly justified in doing so.
The dispute relates to the BNP’s use of a Marmite logo in a recent party political broadcast — and the subsequent legal action by Marmite’s parent company, Unilever.
The BNP has been beset by internal conflict in recent months. In April, Mark Collett, the party’s publicity director, was arrested on suspicion of threatening to kill the BNP leader, Nick Griffin, and its fundraiser, Jim Dowson.
Earlier this year, the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight published a full investigation into the divisive role of Dowson, a hardline Protestant anti-abortion campaigner from Northern Ireland.
UPDATE: as of this morning (6 May), the BNP website is down again, replaced by a “temporary” message. The party has also been locked out of its Facebook and Twitter accounts, with the latter now bearing the message “BNP – Bennett’s Nationalist Politics”.
In other developments, Bob Bailey, the BNP candidate for Romford has been filmed by a BBC news crew fighting with hecklers on the campaign trail in East London.