The framework for this region was provided by activists in Milton Keynes, lead by the trio of fundholder Steve Sherwood, Barry Taylor and Anna Seymour. Between them, these three ran the Luton BNP website, organised leafletting campaigns and supported local candidates at count night in the May elections.
Ricky Fawcus (left), Steve Smith (right)
Local attention was drawn however, by the content of the leaflets, which railed against translation costs, an "influx immigrants and asylum seekers" and a school that dared to have children speaking 32 languages. The local contact number for the EFP was a mobile number belonging to Barry, identical to that found on a website that registers his involvement as a UK Honeybee Swarm Co-ordinator. In fact, the website of the North Bucks Beekeeping Association appears to be hosted by Taylor and with alarmist talk on its pages of "imported bee parasites as a result of Global Capitalist exploitation" it appears he is writing more than his fair share of the content too.
Left to right : Bert Leech, Anna Seymour, Steve Smith, Les Andrews
In the election Seymour gained 8% of the votes and contributors on the nazi-web forum Stormfront purred about the way that UKIP were relegated far down the poll. These comments took on more of a hostile tone when local anti-fascists seized their moment and informed the local press about the candidate’s membership of the BNP, active involvement with Tyr Services and her fulsome praise of a deceased John Tyndall in the online book of condolence for the openly-Nazi British People’s Party :
"Sadly I was only able to meet John on two occasions at recent meetings here in Milton Keynes, and I must say on both occasions i was moved by his noble love and patriotism of this once great land, which sadly no longer belongs to us the indigenous natives."
A front page story in the Milton Keynes News caught many of the characters unawares. Roger Robertson was forced to expel both Taylor and Seymour from the BNP on account of the fact that they campaigned openly for the EFP, a proscribed organisation. Seymour spluttered out that she had left the BNP "because they were too racist." This sits uneasily alongside the fact that two weeks later, she was pouring coffees for Richard Edmonds and 50 members of the BPP at a local John Tyndall Memorial Meeting, where nazi flags and paramilitary merchandise were openly on sale.
The aftermath of this episode features personal setbacks for many local activists on the far-right :
- The leadership of the EFP is being ridiculed by nationalists for failing to check on the credentials of one of its candidates;
- Taylor and Seymour have been expelled from the BNP;
- Milton Keynes BNP organiser Steve Sherwood has apparently left the party;
- South East BNP regional organiser Roger Robertson is being questioned for his inability to influence activists in the Home Counties;
Local BNP activists in Luton and Biggleswade are now cast adrift from the support provided by the "mother group" in Milton Keynes.
For anti-fascists this represents an opportunity to press home our advantage, having put the opposition on the back foot. Fortunately, the activities of Taylor and Seymour, both past and present, have the potential to create many more embarrassing local headlines in the months ahead ......