Amicus the Union

Amicus the Union

May 06, 2007 10:41 ET

News from Jon Cruddas MP

West Midlands a good demonstration of how solid campaigning can beat the BNP says Jon Cruddas

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - May 6, 2007) -

Publication date: 00.01 Monday 7th May 2007

Anti-BNP campaigning in Birmingham and Sandwell shows that a return to pavement politics is what works says deputy leadership candidate for the Labour Party, Jon Cruddas MP.

He said that thanks to the running of effective, community based campaigns, the BNP lost all four seats in Sandwell and polled just over half the average vote in Birmingham, receiving 8.2% over 40 wards. Birmingham was one of four local authority areas nationwide where the BNP stood full slates.

The veteran anti-BNP campaigner said that results in other parts of the country where community led campaigning had not been used revealed worrying levels of support for the BNP. According to figures from the anti-fascist organisation, Searchlight, the BNP polled an average 14% to 15% of the result nationally after fielding 743 candidates in district and borough council wards and over 130 candidates in Welsh, Scottish and parish council elections.

The BNP achieved very significant levels of support in some parts of the country, polling in excess of 27% of the votes cast in the wards they contested in Stoke-on-Trent and close to a quarter of the votes in Rotherham, Burnley, Sandwell and Thurrock. They also polled 18.7% of the vote and 15.5% of the vote in Wolverhampton. An extra 2,500 votes in North Wales would have seen the BNP gain a seat in the Welsh Assembly.

The MP for Dagenham said the results are especially worrying given evidence that the BNP did not actively campaign in many areas. He says there are underlying issues that are driving people to the BNP which must be addressed as a matter of urgency. He blames the retreat of the Labour Party in heartland areas and the mainstream parties preoccupation with middle England as contributing factors to the BNP's renewed confidence.

Jon Cruddas, Deputy Leadership candidate and Dagenham MP, said:

"The BNP stood more candidates in last week's elections than they had members just a few years ago and despite the fact they actively campaigned in only a handful of wards, they have polled consistently around 15% of the vote.

"We have to accept that something palpable is happening here. The BNP is tapping into people's latent fears and disillusionment with the mainstream parties. The fact that the BNP achieved these levels of support despite the fact that the vast majority were paper candidates who did not put out a single leaflet or knock on a single door is particularly worrying.

"Anti BNP campaigners ran really successful community based campaigns in places like Sandwell which stopped the party's advances but it was has been a victory or organisation rather than one built on political will. We have to provide political solutions to people's everyday concerns on job security, affordable housing, pay, education and health inequalities."

The committed anti-BNP campaigner believes the BNP's strategy in fielding so many candidates is to build name recognition and reduce the fear factor around the BNP in the build up to next year's London elections and the European elections the following year.

"There must be no complacency. While the BNP failed to win seats this year they are on course to win seats on the Greater London Assembly and several MEPs. If they achieve this then they have broken into the mainstream," he warned.

Jon Cruddas is MP for Dagenham. Jon is standing as a candidate for deputy leader of the Labour Party. For more information on Jon Cruddas' deputy leadership campaign visit

Jon Cruddas' Deputy Leadership bid has received the support of 100 Labour grassroots activists from every area of the country. They include councillors, local party secretaries and trade union officials. He was overwhelmingly endorsed by 53% of Compass members in March. He has also received the support of Amicus General Secretary Derek Simpson and T&G leader Tony Woodley.

Contact Information

  • Catherine Bithell
    020 7 793 2589 or 07958 473 224