Andrew Brons was recently selected as the BNP candidate for Keighley. Having acquited himself well since he became the party's MEP for Yorkshire last June, Brons is fighting for the seat contested by Nick Griffin himself in 2005. This time around, veteran Labour MP Anne Cryer is standing down, with the Labour candidature falling instead to Jane Thomas. To be fair to Cryer, she did at least acknowledge that there were problems specific to some elements of the Muslim population in Keighley, but unfortunately, she and the local Labour Party at first claimed that the BNP were lying when the latter drew attention to the serious issue of Muslim males grooming local native schoolgirls; plying them with drugs (heroin in particular), and sexually abusing them amongst their family networks. It took the BNP's honesty to force the issue of this Islamic paedophile pimping into the open, but sadly, as more recent cases in Rotherham and other northern towns attest, this is a problem which has yet to be eradicated.
Keighley is a demographically diverse constituency which includes not only working-class Keighley and its outlying Pennine villages, but also the wealthy town of Ilkley in neighbouring Wharfedale which is natural Conservative territory. Keighley itself contains a significant Muslim population comprised of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis (officially circa 15% in 2001 but now higher, yielding an estimated total of 7,000 voters in 2005 according to Muslim News). The seat has thus swung from Conservative to Labour and back again.
Anne Cryer took the seat for Labour in the 1997 General Election with 50.6% of the vote. However, in the subsequent elections of 2001 and 2005 her share shrank first to 48.2% then 44.7%. With Cryer's departure and Labour's general malaise in the polls, it is likely that Jane Thomas, a career politician very much in the New Labour mould (studied Politics at Swansea University, worked briefly for Sheffield Newspapers then spent 16 years as a university lecturer teaching Politics and Public Policy Management) will secure no more than 35% of the vote at best. The seat is likely to turn Tory and fall to Kris Hopkins.
Although Andrew Brons is an excellent candidate, like other BNP members he has a hard task on his hands trying to make significant inroads in the constituency in the face of bitter opposition. When Nick Griffin stood there in 2005 the national media were up in arms and Searchlight and Hope Not Hate ran an intensive operation in Keighley barraging its voters with anti-BNP propaganda. This is probably being repeated today. The other Nick ('Saint' Clegg) recently chose to vent his morally indignant spleen upon the BNP whilst pandering to the Muslim bloc vote on the BBC Asian Network stating "I feel really strongly about this. The BNP is an evil, vile, fascist organisation." Strangely, this generic rant agains the BNP was reported by Keighley News. The Liberal Democrats are once again standing Nader Fekri as their candidate, and it is my guess that he could lure a goodly proportion of the Muslim bloc vote away from Labour. Although Fekri secured only 11.8% in 2005, I would anticipate something in the region of 16% next month.
Nick Griffin managed to poll 4240 votes, some 9.2% of the total. He did this in competition with only the three main parties, but this time around both UKIP and, bizarrely, the National Front (an historical throwback) are also fielding Paul Latham and Steven Smith respectively. If anything, UKIP will take as many if not more votes from Eurosceptic Tories as from the BNP, whereas the National Front is more or less an irrelevance which is unlikely to secure more than 1% of the vote. Given that Brons will be subject to a significant black propaganda effort and will not receive favourable coverage in the local print and electronic media, I would be surprised if he was able to better Griffin's share of the vote. Although I think Brons deserves to win, and has been given odds of 20/1 by Paddypower.com to take the seat, my guess is that the final result will look something akin to the following: Conservative 36%; Labour 33%; Liberal Democrat 16%; BNP 9%; UKIP 5%; National Front 1%. If Andrew Brons is able to secure more than 15% of the votes cast he will have done extremely well.
Watch the following clip of Andrew delivering a recent speech in the EU Parliament. This man speaks sense, and gives the lie to the false media claim that the BNP is comprised of illiterate knuckle draggers.
Brons is one of the most eloquent members of the BNP and can be seen in the following interview providing his perspective on the June 2009 EU elections.