BNP Barking councillor resigns
| Monday, 16 May 2005 Source: Searchlight exclusive
The British National Party has lost its only councillor in London. Daniel Kelley, who represented Goresbrook ward on Barking and Dagenham council, resigned today citing ill health.
Kelley was elected in a by-election last September. In his short term of office he distinguished himself only for telling a journalist that he hadn't got a clue about what he was doing.
"There's meetings that go right over my head and there's little point in me being there," Kelley told the Barking & Dagenham Recorder. "I'm wasting my time."
Kelley never spoke in the council chamber and did next to nothing as a councillor despite making all sorts of wild promises to get himself elected. He even stated that he would only attend the minimum number of council meetings – one every six months.
Kelley still faces legal proceedings on two fronts after acting as election agent for Richard Barnbrook, the BNP candidate for Barking in the general election.
Liam Smith, the Labour lead councillor for housing in Barking and Dagenham, has started a libel action against Barnbrook and Kelley over their lies in election material that he was behind a scheme to bring "Africans" to the borough. In a leaflet headed "Africans for Essex", the BNP claimed that Councillor Smith was giving £50,000 to Africans to buy homes in Barking and Dagenham as part of a bid to buy votes.
Councillor Smith told Searchlight, "There is no scheme called Africans for Essex. They made it up to scare people."
Barking and Dagenham council has also threatened legal proceedings over the naming on the BNP's website of a nine-year-old local schoolgirl who suffers from Downs Syndrome. The child and her mother were used to attack Margaret Hodge, the Labour candidate, who was re-elected as MP for Barking.
The by-election, coming less than a year before the full elections next May, will cost the council at least £5,000, money that could have been better spent on the welfare of the community.
The BNP has promised to contest the seat. Barnbrook took 16.9% of the vote in Barking in the general election, the BNP's highest percentage in the country, and claims support of up to 50% in some wards. But he let slip what he really thinks of the people of Barking in an interview on Radio 4 on 15 May. Asked why he had not polled the 25% or more he had predicted, Barnbrook said the problem was that his supporters were not intelligent enough to know how to go out and vote.
Now that the voters of Goresbrook have seen that the BNP has nothing to offer them except lies and contempt, they are unlikely to give the fascist party a second chance.