27 March 2008

BNP’s York MP hopeful 'quits'

A BRITISH National Party member who tried to fight an election in York and in Scotland at the same time has now "quit" after his own party took an injunction out against him.

The BNP has taken legal action against six former officials including a man from York for alleged misuse of party data. Chairman of the BNP, Nick Griffin, has secured an injunction from Manchester High Court, preventing the group from using party property including a list of all its members.

Among the six who have contested the injunction is Ian Dawson (above), the party's former Group Support Officer. He stood in the City of York Council election for Acomb in April last year as one of nine BNP candidates while also hoping to win a seat in Scotland, through the regional party list system. He failed to win in either city.

The former Yorkshire Secretary and former York Organiser announced his "resignation" from the BNP on the internet in December, while challenging the internal management of the party. His decision to stand down, and the latest court action, follows months of internal wrangling within the party.

The other five former party officials involved in the court proceedings are Steve Blake, Sadie Graham, Matt Single, Kenny Smith and Nicholla Smith.

Simon Darby, a BNP spokesman, said: "We, as a party, sought an injunction against the use of party equipment by the six people. The injunction was granted. He said the equipment concerned included the party membership list as well as mobile phones, digital duplicators and computers. Another hearing is expected to take place in April. We were bound under the terms of the Data Protection Act to take this action," he said. "There are thousands of names on the list. They have been using it since December. It upset a lot of people."

He said the group was contesting the injunction and another hearing is expected to take place in April.

"The technicalities of our injunction were that they can't use anything that we have asked them not to use. They can currently publish things, but they can't use our membership list. They can't use the duplicator."

He was unsure how long the process would take.

Mr Dawson, who is in his mid-20s, attended York College before working as a self-employed administration systems manager. When contacted by The Press, he said: "I don't want to make any comment on it, not for the time being. I don't want to get involved in saying things out of turn."

The Press

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