The British National Party candidate for Mayor of London has given a wide-ranging interview to the BBC.
Richard Barnbrook is a Barking and Dagenham councillor, along with eleven BNP colleagues.
He told the BBC that the party plans to distribute 1.3 million leaflets in London before the election for Mayor and the 25-member Assembly on May 1st.
On the issue of immigration, he denied the party is racist.
“It’s not immigrants that are at fault here, never has been, it’s the establishment, our own governing powers and their greed or their ignorance or their simple gutlessness to do anything about it,” he told the BBC.
“They feel if they try to look at immigration they will have the finger pointed at them – ‘racist’.
“This is an easy get out clause – this is bullying people.
“We’re not racist at all. We do not perceive one person’s religion, identity, culture or way of life as being better or worse than our own, we are simply different.”
The party, which has more than 50 councillors in England and Wales, is vehemently anti-gay, and at times maintained that homosexual acts should be recriminalised.
Mr Barnbrook told the BBC:
“You can be gay behind closed doors, you can be heterosexual behind closed doors, but you don’t bring it onto the streets, demanding more rights for it.”
In the 2004 election for Mayor of London the BNP came sixth, marginally ahead of the Green party, with 58,405 first preference votes (3.0%) and 70,736 second preferences.
The Greens won 57,331 or 2.9% of first preferences but got 208,686 second-preference votes.
Incumbent Mayor of London and Labour candidate Ken Livingstone has warned that the BNP could win one of the 25 seats on the London Assmebly.
“We have to get across one simple fact: there’s only one way to stop the BNP, which is by actually going out to vote against them,” he said yesterday.
“A low voter turnout will help the BNP get elected.”
Last week the fascist party urged its supporters to cast their second preference votes for the Tory candidate to ensure that Mr Livingstone was removed from office.
Boris Johnson responded: “I utterly and unreservedly condemn the BNP and have no desire whatsoever to receive a single second preference vote from a BNP supporter.”
Mr Barnbrook was ridiculed in 2006 when the Evening Standard newspaper publicised a copy of a film produced and directed by him described as “Marxist gay cinema.”
The film, HMS Discovery, A Love Story, contains scenes of men undressing and touching each other, coupled with nudity and sexual activities.
Mr Barnbrook, who won one of the 12 BNP seats in Barking and Dagenham local elections in 2006, told the Standard:
“It was an art film, not a bloody porn film.
“The only nudity in it is a couple of guys running in a river.
“This was done when I was a student. It was part of my extra education, part of my studies and that was it.
“Anything to do with my past politics or my past work, I am not interested in commenting on.”
The BNP has previously told PinkNews.co.uk that homosexuality should not be promoted as equal to a straight lifestyle.
“The word gay means happy, we have no problem with being happy,” a spokesman said.
“Some unfortunate people suffer from homosexuality so we will just have to tolerate them.
“If I was one I would be ashamed and would remain celibate.”
Read Mr Barnbrook’s BBC interview here.
Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson, Lib Dem Brian Paddick, Green candidate Sian Berry and Respect – The Left list candidate Lindsey German will all speak and answer questions at a Stonewall hustings event at BFI Southbank on Saturday 19th April.
PinkNews.co.uk is proud to be Stonewall’s media partner for the hustings, which will be held at the between 11am and 12.30pm.
The event is open to everyone, but in order to ensure a seat you must register here.
Full list of candidates for Mayor of London:
British National Party
UK Independence Party
Christian Peoples Alliance and Christian Party
The Left List
The Stonewall hustings will be the last before Londoners go to the polls on May 1st.