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Thursday, 25 March 2010

Birmingham barrister set to stand as BNP election candidate

A BIRMINGHAM barrister is set to stand in the General Election as a BNP candidate, according to the party’s website.

Robert Grierson will contest Sutton Coldfield – which is held by Conservative Andrew Mitchell with a majority of more than 12,000.

Mr Grierson has been a barrister for 18 years specialising in tax, trust, wills and estates work.

He is currently a door tenant at St Philip Chambers in Birmingham city centre, which means he works with the Chambers but is not a member.

James Burbidge QC, head of the Chambers, said he was previously unaware of his involvement with the BNP.

“Mr Grierson’s political persuasions, his beliefs and his association with the British National Party were not known to Chambers when he applied for and was accepted for a door tenancy,” Mr Burbidge said.

“As is well known across the Midlands and in the wider legal community, St Philips Chambers operate a strict non-discriminatory policy towards its members, staff, lay and professional clients and members of the public alike.”

Mr Grierson and the BNP were unavailable for comment but he told the BNP website he believed he had a chance of making an impact on May 6.
“I am certain I can provide an effective challenge to the sitting Tory MP in Sutton Coldfield,” he said.

According to the website, Mr Grierson was born in Witton and educated at King Edward’s School before attending Downing College Cambridge, the same as BNP leader Nick Griffin.

MP Tom Watson (Lab, West Bromwich East) said the revelation that a barrister was standing in the West Midlands for the BNP would trouble many in the business community.

He said: “I’m sure no self-respecting business would want to use the services of a barrister standing for a party which holds such extreme views.”