Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 September 2003

Daggers drawn in the BNP

JOHN TYNDALL, ex-leader of the far right British National Party (BNP), has been expelled from the party. Luke Smith, a BNP councillor in Burnley has been suspended pending internal 'disciplinary proceedings'.

Both actions appear to be part of an attempt by Nick Griffin, the BNP's current leader, to strengthen his position against growing dissent within the party.

Naomi Byron

Griffin has wanted to get rid of Tyndall for some time. Tyndall is an unwelcome reminder to the public of the neo-Nazi views all long-standing BNP members hold.

But the real reason for Tyndall's expulsion is that his criticisms of the current BNP leadership have gained support from a number of important BNP activists.

Tyndall, leader of the BNP from its founding in 1982 to when he was defeated by Nick Griffin in 1999, has not been prepared to fade from the limelight.

He criticised the current leadership both in his magazine Spearhead and at a number of BNP meetings, and rumours of him launching a new challenge to win back the leadership of the BNP have been growing.

However, there is no real disagreement over the strategy that the BNP should follow: all those concerned, including Tyndall, agree that they have had enough of isolation and marginalisation and want the BNP to reinvent itself as a populist far-right party with a 'respectable' image.

The differences are partly over tactics, but are mostly the petty squabbles and jealousies of thieves falling out.

The suspension of Luke Smith shows that Griffin's real motivation is to protect his own position within the BNP.

Although most of their organisers are still hardcore neo-Nazis, Burnley BNP have been the most successful branch in the country at trying to 'reinvent' the BNP as a far right populist party (to shake off their neo-Nazi image and attract a wider layer of support).

This is the very strategy that Nick Griffin won the leadership of the BNP with.

Violent confrontation

THERE HAS been tension for a long time between the BNP's national leadership and the Burnley branch, who appear to resent 'interference' from the leadership.

According to the BNP national leadership, Luke Smith has been suspended awaiting an internal disciplinary hearing for 'bringing the party into disrepute' by his involvement in some kind of fight with one of Griffin's minders at the BNP's summer camp in August.

To anyone familiar with the BNP's long history of violent confrontation (between fellow members as well as against outside opponents), this charge has the hollow ring of an excuse.

The suspension has made the row between Burnley and Griffin public and damaged the BNP, particularly in Burnley. Luke Smith (whose uncle is Steve Smith, the BNP's Burnley organiser) was elected in May this year as one of the BNP's eight councillors in Burnley, when the BNP became the second-largest party on the council and the official opposition to Labour.

His suspension means that the Liberal Democrats have now taken over as the official opposition, with eight seats to the BNP's seven.

According to the Burnley Express on 22 August, Steve Smith has resigned as BNP branch organiser and Luke Smith has decided to resign as a councillor. While these threats may or may not be confirmed, it's certain that Tyndall is determined to fight his expulsion.

According to Searchlight (the anti-fascist magazine) and The Observer, Tyndall has decided to challenge the decision to expel him in the courts.

Could this be the end of the BNP? This public falling-out will create problems for them. However, while there is no real workers' party to challenge Labour, the BNP or other far right parties - will find it easier to exploit anger against the government for their own right-wing purposes.

A strong socialist alternative is needed to give genuine solutions to the social and economic problems that the BNP is exploiting.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 6 September 2003:

Teach Blair A Lesson Build a new workers' party

Blair's head still spinning

Fight low pay, job cuts and privatisation in Royal Mail

Death and destruction in Iraq

Stop SATs: Unions must take action

How to beat top-up fees

Asylum seekers: Blunkett's harsh policies ignore reality

Daggers drawn in the BNP

Understanding Marxism - a guide to action

Will new IVF proposals end the postcode lottery?

London blackout: Chaos shows up failure to invest

TUC conference: Opportunities for the Left

Civil service union challenges New Labour's pension pans

Are the unions on a collision course with Blair and the bosses?

Royal Mail's spin doctor

Strike action on the increase

Israel/Palestine: Ceasefire collapses as Sharon targets Palestinian leaders

Italy - a 'hot autumn' awaits Berlusconi

Build a movement against the occupation of Iraq

Iraq: Can the occupation be stopped?


Home   |   The Socialist 6 September 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleWhy I joined: "I hope that more and more people are going to join the Socialist Party and the fight to end inequality"


triangleCommunity and artists campaign to save Todmorden College

triangleEast Lancs Socialist Party meeting - the election and steps towards a new workers' party

Nick Griffin:

triangleStopping the BNP in London

triangleCardiff activists chase Nick Griffin out of town

triangleWhy the BNP offers no way forward for working class people

Far right:

triangleBending the knee v Trump

triangleGerman elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Homes for All - Not billionaire profit!



School strikes against academy management



Hands Off HRI campaign granted judicial review



Refugee Rights to be launched in Manchester



Over 1,000 on Newcastle NHS march


Socialist Party

Why I joined: 'The Socialist Party is at the forefront of defending Corbyn's anti-austerity leadership'


Socialist Party

Past fund-raising campaigns show dedication to the fight for socialism


May Day

Ideas matter: help us fight to win with May Day greetings



Refugees march against racism and to demand rights



Unions condemn 'culture of bullying' at Merseyside hospital



Hull college workers ballot for action against mass redundancies



Strikers and parents rally again in Newham against academies



Hinkley workers win back unpaid wages after sit-in protest



UCU strike: staff and students unite to continue pensions fight after magnificent 14 days of action



Walkout from undercover policing inquiry

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018