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Wednesday, 13 April 2011

BNP activist’s Facebook threats (UK)

A BNP candidate has caused a storm by make making a vile comment about a voter in St Helens.

James Winstanley, an active member of the BNP who stood in last year’s general election, made the comment on his Facebook webpage along with a crude racist slur.

Shaven-headed Winstanley, 21, boasted that a woman had shouted at him as he leafleted for the forthcoming local elections and then joked about how he would return later that day to post excrement through her letterbox instead.

Winstanley, of Poynter Street, Thatto Heath, was a key member of a gang of party activists who stormed Birkenhead Magistrates’ Court last month and threatened to arrest a judge.

He has also stood in several local elections for the party, recently contesting the Haydock by-election - where he only mustered 141 votes.

And his latest outburst is unlikely to win many votes in the Bold ward - where he is standing in the May 5 local elections.

Winstanley, who is part of the North West BNP security team and has acted as a bodyguard to party leader Nick Griffin, could not be contacted for comment and there was no answer when the Reporter visited his home.

But a BNP spokesman jumped to his defence.

He said: “I’m sure James was merely figuratively speaking. When the BNP membership list was leaked a couple of years ago the comedienne Jo Brand said something similar - what’s the difference?

“If our guy (Winstanley) had called the police to report the lady for a public order offence he would have been a laughing stock. Lots of comments like this go on Facebook every day.”

Other messages posted by Winstanley included offensive remarks about Muslims and told how he had stormed into Birkenhead Magistrates’ Court as part of a “lawful rebellion” to arrest a judge for not acting under common law.

Simon Cressy, of Searchlight Magazine, who first came across Winstanley’s posts, told the St Helens Reporter: “Winstanley’s disgusting comments represent the true face of the British National Party. This goes to show the contempt that the BNP have for the voters of the area.”

Admitting that the language Winstanley used about Muslims was “not something I approve of”, the BNP spokesman added: “Searchlight is a publicly funded body which receives a lottery grant and spends all its time following our members on Facebook. Why can’t they attack us on policy instead?”

St Helen's Reporter