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Monday, 8 August 2011

Twickenham BNP candidate booted out of party (UK)

Twickenham’s BNP parliamentary candidate has been booted out of the party after an undercover newspaper sting caught him giving a Hitler-style salute at a pop concert.

Chris Hurst, of Whitton, was said to have been warned by the BNP not to be seen saluting in public for fear of damaging its image.

However, he was pictured giving the gesture at a festival in Hungary as he watched far-right Swedish singer Saga, whose lyrics were said to have inspired Norwegian killer Anders Breivik.

Mr Hurst, who won 654 votes when stood against Vince Cable in last year’s general election, denied this week that he was a Nazi. He claimed he was drunk and had just copied everyone else in the crowd.

He did not answer his phone yesterday after the Sun revealed the BNP has expelled him.

Twickenham MP Dr Cable said the Sun’s investigation was a “clear warning” to voters in his constituency.

He said: “I don’t have any illusions about the BNP, they are a thoroughly nasty party with links to the neo-Nazi right.

“Fortunately the BNP have very little support in Twickenham, but this is a clear warning to local residents to be aware.

“Six hundred votes is not very much, but if there’s about 600 then probably they need to be more careful who they are voting for.”

Mr Hurst, who was the BNP’s London regional secretary, said he travelled to Hungary alone and friends there invited him to the festival, which was believed to have been attended by thousands of neo-Nazi’s from across Europe.

He described his right-arm salute as “a storm in a tea cup”.

He said: “I went to a concert, I’m 22-years-old, I got drunk and I did what everybody else in the club was doing and put my arm in the air.”

But the BNP took the gesture more seriously and kicked him out, the Sun reported.

The party told the tabloid newspaper, which sent an undercover team to the Hungarian festival, that Mr Hurst had put the BNP in an embarrassing position.

Rrichmond and Twickenham Times