A former BNP activist with vile far right views has been elected as a councillor in County Durham. Liron Velleman and David Lawrence report on Peter Molloy’s background, and how the Council’s new leadership should distance themselves from him.
Last month, the far right had a disastrous set of election results, rarely reaching even 2% of the vote in seats they stood in. However, a few hateful figures did manage to slip through. One of those figures is Pete Molloy in Durham County Council. This former leading BNP activist was elected as an independent councillor in Spennymoor Division with 930 votes.
Independent though he may be, his election was seen as the biggest success for the far right on the night, with nazi publication Heritage and Destiny celebrating the win on their front page.
Molloy has a history of far-right politics and was once a prominent figure in the British National Party (BNP). Molloy was once a close ally to current leader Adam Walker, and headed up the BNP Veterans Group for ex-servicemen. He stood for the BNP in North Durham in the 2010 GE, receiving 4.1%. He left the party in December 2014, which was fairly late considering swathes of the party had already abandoned ship by this point.
Molloy stood as an Independent in the Durham County Council elections in 2017, and won a Spennymoor Town seat in 2019 with 488 votes. In 2021 he was elected in a parish seat, alongside his win on Durham County Council.
His views don’t seem to have changed much in the years since he left the BNP, at least according to his occasional rants on his councillor Facebook page. You can find a stream of racism, Islamophobia and conspiracy theories on his page.
If his election as an independent councillor wasn’t bad enough, he voted in favour of the new ‘Joint Administration’ led by the Liberal Democrats and supported by the Conservative group and a range of smaller parties and independents. Thankfully, he received no cabinet position under the new Joint Administration leadership but the new Council Leader still has questions to answer.
- Does Council Leader Hopgood welcome Cllr Molloy as part of her new administration?
- Does Council Leader Hopgood disavow the hateful views of Cllr Molloy and believe that no mainstream politician should cooperate with the far right?
Cllr Molloy has a dark history of longstanding BNP activism with horrendous views – views that he seems to continue to hold. He should be nowhere near the administration of Durham County Council and the new leadership should condemn his views if they want to lead a council for all Durham’s residents.