Colour­ful past of BNP’s Lon­don man

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY DANA GLOGER

GAIN­ING A seat on the Lon­don As­sem­bly ear­lier this month has made Richard Barn­brook the Bri­tish Na­tional Party’s high­est-elected rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

The for­mer coun­cil op­po­si­tion leader in Bark­ing and Da­gen­ham was elected through the far-right party’s 5.4 per cent vote in the Lon­don-wide poll. This was sep­a­rate from the may­oral race, where Barn­brook trailed home a dis­tant fifth.

There was out­rage at the elec­tion of Barn­brook — who is al­most al­ways seen in his trade­mark brown suit and match­ing tie, which some have likened to Hitler’s cloth­ing — with main­stream can­di­dates walk­ing off stage as he took the podium. But the 47-year-old, USe­d­u­cated grad­u­ate is no stranger to con­tro­versy.

He has not made pub­lic pro­nounce­ments on Jews. Ac­cord­ing to vet­eran Search­light anti-fas­cist Gerry Gable, Barn­brook “is very cau­tious with ev­ery­thing that he says and how he is quoted by the press. He has not said any­thing anti-Jewish [on the record].”

How­ever, he has been more out­spo­ken about other mi­nori­ties, blam­ing the resur­gence of TB on “im­mi­gra­tion”, and re­fer­ring to mem­bers of the Mus­lim com­mu­nity get­ting “an up­per hand and high ben­e­fits such as free trans­la­tion, help with busi­ness startup and hous­ing”. He has also de­scribed Africans as “messier as peo­ple”.

When he first stood as a coun­cil­lor two years ago, it was claimed he had rented a flat in the area with col­league Robert Bai­ley to be el­i­gi­ble to stand.

Both men were reg­is­tered to the same ad­dress on their nom­i­na­tion pa­pers, but it was claimed that the flat was a derelict maisonette and neigh­bours claimed nei­ther lived there. As leader of the op­po­si­tion on the coun­cil, he is said to have been at only 17 of the 28 meet­ings he should have at­tended.

One of five chil­dren, Barn­brook was born in Cat­ford, South-East Lon­don, in 1961. He stud­ied at the Royal Col­lege of Art and be­came a teacher.

The BNP’s stance on ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity is that it is a “per­verted” prac­tice, yet Mr Barn­brook pro­duced the 1989 film, HMS Dis­cov­ery: A Love Story, which fea­tured young naked men flag­el­lat­ing each other and sim­u­lat­ing gay sex.

When the English Na­tional Bal­let’s prin­ci­pal bal­le­rina Si­mone Clarke was re­vealed as a BNP mem­ber last year, it also emerged that the pair were en­gaged. If they marry, he will be­come step­fa­ther to Ms Clarke’s four-year-old mixed-race daugh­ter from her previ- ous re­la­tion­ship with a Cuban-Chi­nese dancer. Barn­brook has pre­vi­ously spo­ken out against mixed-race fam­i­lies. His brother has also had two long-term re­la­tion­ships with black women.

But this year, a nurse from Fin­land claimedMrBarn­brookhad­been­hav­ing a re­la­tion­ship with her and had asked her to marry him at the same time as he had pro­posed to Ms Clarke. An­nika Tav­il­ampi, 28, claimed they met on a dat­ing web­site and that Barn­brook had in­un­dated her with ex­plicit texts.

Ms Tav­il­ampi also claimed to have found a copy of Mein Kampf un­der his bed and said he kept his re­la­tion­ship with the bal­le­rina se­cret from her.

It fur­ther emerged that, while he had al­legedly pro­posed to both Ms Clarke andMsTav­il­ampi,hewasstill­mar­riedto anAmer­i­can­wom­an­fromwhomhe­was sep­a­rated. The wo­man, a po­lice of­fi­cer, claimed their mar­riage broke down due to his “rot­ten pol­i­tics”.

He claims to have dated Os­car-win­ning ac­tress Tilda Swin­ton and her agent has con­firmed the pair knew each other, al­beit be­fore Mr Barn­brook joined the BNP in 1999.

In Bark­ing, he was ridiculed for pre­sent­ing an al­ter­na­tive bud­get, call­ing for cuts of £3 mil­lion from the £6.5 mil­lion bud­get for hu­man re­sources and £5.3 mil­lion from chil­dren’s ser­vices. Other coun­cil­lors at the meet­ing claimed he could not ex­plain how the cuts could be made. He blamed the blun­ders on “com­mu­ni­ca­tion is­sues” be­tween his ac­coun­tant and his team.

Richard Barn­brook: the Bri­tish Na­tional Party’s Lon­don As­sem­bly man

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