English Democrats rebut links to far-right in mayor elections
PUBLISHED: 15:33 02 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:08 13 July 2010
LEADERS of the English Democrat party have hit back at controversial dads’ campaigner Matt O’Connor who accused them of having links to the BNP in a pre-election attack in the race for Mayor of London. The Fathers 4 Justice founder was running for Mayor for the party when he pulled out just six days before polling, too late for them to select another candidate.
By Mike Brooke
LEADERS of the English Democrat party have hit back at controversial dads' campaigner Matt O'Connor who accused them have having links to the BNP in a pre-election attack in the race for Mayor of London.
The Fathers 4 Justice founder was running for Mayor for the English Democrats when he pulled out just six days before polling, too late for the party to select another candidate.
Mr O'Connor issued a press statement claiming to have uncovered a "menacing far-right underbelly" to the party at the 11th hour.
But this week English Democrats denied any BNP link and insist they are non-racist, campaigning on an 'English' identity like the Welsh and Scots.
"I am obviously disappointed Matt O'Connor has issued this statement, but not entirely surprised," party chairman Robin Tilbrook told the East London Advertiser today.
"What I now say is in sorrow, because Matt has done the cause some good.
"But, contrary to what he now claims, Matt approached the English Democrats Party to put himself forward to be our candidate mayor, urging us to select him and promising to 'give the campaign 110 per cent!
"But it's a pity for our candidates who stood for the London Assembly. They feel badly let down by Matt."
The party has since been pinning hopes on getting a seat at City Hall on the Party List ballot with the counting going on today (Friday) to fight "the Establishment's discrimination against London and England."
It would need at least five per cent of the total London vote to gain a seat.
"England's cause is far bigger and more important than any one individual," Mr Tilbrook adds. "The campaign for English Democracy goes on."
The party denies any connection with 'England First' or the BNP.
"There are no links with the BNP at all," Mr Tilbrook told the Advertiser.
"We even stood against them in the elections and have non-English ethnic candidates.
"We're not about race, but campaign on English identity.
"Home is where the heart is. Colour is not relevant.
"National identity is the emotional glue that holds society together."
The party is campaigning for 'a stronger 'England' in the face of preference it says the Government gives to Scotland and Wales with their own 'national identities.'
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