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Thursday, 19 August 2010

BNP Three Rivers District Council member Seamus Dunne quits in leadership protest

A former British National Party (BNP) councillor has quit the party in protest at the policies of leader Nick Griffin.

Councillor Seamus Dunne, who was elected to Three Rivers District Council in May 2008, announced yesterday that he would now be sitting as an independent member.

Councillor Dunne, of Alva Way, Carpenders Park, insisted he had not “sold out” his political principles but stressed that radical change was now needed if the party is to mount a serious electoral challenge at a national level.

Nick Griffin, who has been party leader since 1999, fended off a leadership challenge last week when his rivals failed to win enough support from other party members.

Councillor Dunne, however, believes the party cannot achieve significant change with Mr Griffin at the helm.

He said: “What I wanted was a leadership challenge so people can stand on a platform and ask some awkward questions and have a proper debate.

“I’m not selling out my political principles, I just want a new direction for the party and that is not going to happen under Nick Griffin. He did a good job for many years but he was found out at the General Election.”

He also raised concerns about the state of the level of the party’s debts – believed to be about £500,000.

His resignation comes just days after that of London Assembly member Richard Barnbrook, who is also now sitting as an independent.

Asked whether he would now seek re-election from voters, Councillor Dunne said he would carry on until 2012 – when he is due for re-election – without a fresh mandate.

He also raised concerns about the state of the level of the party’s debts, reported to be as high as £500,000.

Councillor Dunne said he would remain a member of the party until his membership expired later in the year.

Wattford Observer