British Democratic Party

The British Democratic Party (BDP) was a short-lived far-right political party in the United Kingdom. A breakaway group from the National Front, the BDP was severely damaged after it became involved in a gun-running sting and was absorbed by the British National Party.[1]

British Democratic Party
LeaderAnthony Reed Herbert
FounderAnthony Reed Herbert
Preceded byNational Front
Succeeded byBritish National Party
IdeologyBritish nationalism

Formation and naming controversy

The BDP emerged following the 1979 general election in which the National Front (NF) had put up the greatest number of candidates in its history. However, despite this results fell way below the party's expectations. The recriminations that followed this financially costly defeat saw Andrew Brons replace John Tyndall as chairman whilst a number of groups broke away from the NF, notably the New National Front and the Constitutional Movement.[2]

Within the NF, the Leicester branch had become one of the most active in the country and, since 1972, this group had been led by Anthony Reed Herbert, a local solicitor whose talent for organisation had made Leicester a model branch.[3] Reed Herbert took the opportunity provided by the 1979 collapse of the NF to launch his own group, initially selecting the name British Peoples Party. However, the name was quickly changed in order to avoid association with the earlier British People's Party, a splinter group from the National Socialist League, organised either side of the Second World War.[4] The name was thus changed to British Democratic Party even though a British Democratic Party, a minor right wing anti-communist group, had also previously existed in the 1930s.[5]

The BDP shared with the Constitutional Movement a desire to move away from open neo-Nazism in general and Tyndall and Martin Webster in particular, with Reed Herbert reasoning that a stream of press exposures of the more extreme views of both men had hit the NF's election chances hard.[6] Effectively therefore the BDP sought to present a more "respectable" public image in contrast to that of the NF.[7]


The BDP quickly gained a following within Leicester, capturing 11% of the vote in the first local elections it contested, a highly respectable score for a new and virtually unknown party.[6] However the British Movement's Ray Hill also became involved and, after giving a copy of the party's membership list to Searchlight magazine, soon began secretly working for the anti-fascist publication full-time.[8] Although never formally a member of the BDP Hill, on instructions from Searchlight, took a leading role in helping Reed Herbert to organise the new party.[9] Hill also took over production of the party's newspaper British News.[9] Hill's association with both the BDP and BM was not unusual as BDP members Dave Gagin, Chris Newman, Jack Munton and Chris Harrison all held simultaneous membership of the BM.[10]

The association of Hill with the BDP meant that many of its activities were exposed in the press. Thus a celebration for Adolf Hitler's birthday held in 1980 in an illegal bar in the basement of the party's headquarters was reported in the Daily Mirror.[9] Hill also fomented a plan to take over the British Movement, suggesting to Reed Herbert that the two groups could unite once it was successful, although this idea too was driven by a Searchlight plan to bring about divisions within the BM.[11] Hill further informed the magazine on BDP plans to obtain weapons and to set up an illegal television transmitter, although information about both schemes was initially vague.[12]

World in Action incident

The BDP became embroiled in a 1981 scheme developed by the World in Action documentary series in which an American claiming to be a neo-Nazi gunrunner (but who was actually working for the programme) was put in touch with the BDP. Before long, Hill became involved in order to facilitate the sting.[13] 'Bob Matthews', as the American claimed to be called, told Reed Herbert that he needed a gun in order to raid a US Army armoury, and Reed Herbert agreed to supply a single weapon for £200.[14] BDP member John Grand Scrutton was chosen to ferry the weapon, a luger pistol, to a secret location arranged in advance with 'Matthews' before phoning the American to let him know more details. The resulting phone call, in which Scrutton suggested that the BDP could get hold of six more guns and told 'Matthews' to send payments to Reed Herbert's address, was recorded by World in Action and broadcast on the show.[15]

Reed Herbert learned of the ruse from a journalist immediately prior to the broadcast of the episode as did Scrutton, whose finger prints were on the luger which by that point was in police custody.[16] Reed Herbert sent Scrutton, under Hill's care, to a hideout in the Republic of Ireland but before long Scrutton returned to Britain and had to be brought back to Ireland by Hill.[17] Reed Herbert eventually told Scrutton to go to South Africa and Scrutton, along with Hill, was put on a plane that stopped over at Paris-Orly Airport. However Hill had informed Searchlight about the plan and they in turn had tipped off the French authorities who arrested Scrutton and Hill before sending them back to Ireland.[18] Under Hill's prompting, Scrutton contacted the show's producer Geoffrey Seed and, after three days of interviews, they convinced him to return to Leicester and give himself up to police.[19] Scrutton eventually returned and made a full statement, but despite this statement, no charges were ever brought against Scrutton or any member of the BDP in regards to the weapons offences.[20]


Despite the incident Hill, who had moved on to a new plan to work with and undermine John Tyndall, remained close to the BDP and sought to continue working to damage the party.[21] At this time the party also enjoyed the support of influential publisher Anthony Hancock, although he too was close to the BM and was less sure about Tyndall.[22] Nonetheless, the gun-running incident forced the BDP to cease almost all operations, and it came as little surprise when it was brought to a conclusion in 1982 by re-joining Tyndall and Hill as founder members of the British National Party.[1]


  1. ^ a b David Boothroyd, The History of British Political Parties, Politico's Publishing, 2001, p. 17
  2. ^ R. Hill & A. Bell, The Other Face of Terror - Inside Europe’s Neo-Nazi Network, London: Collins, 1988, pp.90-91
  3. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp. 85-86
  4. ^ S. Taylor, The National Front in English Politics, London: Macmillan, 1982, p. 91
  5. ^ Robert Benewick, Political Violence and Public Order, Allan Lane: 1969, p. 289
  6. ^ a b Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, p. 92
  7. ^ Peter Barberis, John McHugh, Mike Tyldesley, Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations: Parties, Groups and Movements of the 20th Century, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2000, p. 176
  8. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp. 93-94
  9. ^ a b c Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, p. 98
  10. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, p. 135
  11. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp. 98-99
  12. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, p. 100
  13. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp. 100-101
  14. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, p. 101
  15. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, p. 102
  16. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp. 102-104
  17. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp. 109-111
  18. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp. 111-113
  19. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, pp. 114-115
  20. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, p. 115
  21. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, p. 165
  22. ^ Hill & Bell, The Other Face of Terror, p. 229
2014 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom's component of the 2014 European Parliament election was held on Thursday 22 May 2014, coinciding with the 2014 local elections in England and Northern Ireland. In total, 73 Members of the European Parliament were elected from the United Kingdom using proportional representation. England, Scotland and Wales use a closed-list party list system of PR (with the D'Hondt method), while Northern Ireland used the single transferable vote (STV).

Most of the election results were announced after 10pm on Sunday 25 May – with the exception of Scotland, which did not declare its results until the following day – after voting closed throughout the 28 member states of the European Union.

The most successful party overall was the UK Independence Party (UKIP) which won 24 seats and 27% of the popular vote, the first time a political party other than the Labour Party or Conservative Party had won the popular vote at a British election since the 1906 general election. It was also the first time a party other than Labour or Conservative had won the largest number of seats in a national election since the December 1910 general election. In addition, the 23.1% of the vote won by the Conservatives was the lowest recorded voteshare for the party in a national election until 2019.

The Labour Party became the first Official Opposition party since 1984 to fail to win a European Parliament election, although it did gain 7 seats, taking its overall tally to 20. The governing Conservative Party was pushed into third place for the first time at any European Parliament election, falling to 19 seats, while the Green Party of England and Wales saw its number of MEPs increase for the first time since 1999, winning 3 seats. In Scotland, the Scottish National Party won the largest share of the vote, taking 29% of the vote and 2 MEPs. The Liberal Democrats, who were in coalition with the Conservatives at the time, lost 10 of the 11 seats they were defending, and won just 7% of the popular vote.

Figures released in December 2014 showed that the Conservatives and UKIP each spent £2.96m on the campaign, the Liberal Democrats £1.5m, and the Labour Party approximately £1m.

2015 North West Leicestershire District Council election

Elections to elect all members of the North West Leicestershire District Council took place on 7 May 2015, simultaneously with a general election, held as one of the English local elections of that year.

At the request of the previous administration, a boundary review took place during 2014 with a view to make every ward represented by one councillor. The total number of councillors remained at 38, meaning that the final proposals from the Local Government Boundary Commission for England replaced 20 single-, double- and triple-member wards with 38, single-member.

The local Conservative governing group increased their previous majority of two gained at the previous election. The Labour Party were the only other party fielding a full slate of 38 candidates, the first time since the election four council terms ago. Five independent candidates stood, two of whom were successfully returned. Local Liberal Democrats taking in 16 candidates had one councillor before the election, who was returned (re-elected) and made no gains.

In groups or individuals not seeing any councillors returned in this election UKIP fielded their first candidates since 2007, standing in 14 seats. The Green Party stood one candidate in the Kegworth ward. One candidate from the British Democratic Party presented himself for election.

Andrew Brons

Andrew Henry William Brons (born 3 June 1947, London) is a British politician and former MEP. Long active in far-right politics in Britain, he was elected as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Yorkshire and the Humber for the British National Party (BNP) at the 2009 European Parliament election. He was the Chairman of the National Front in the early 1980s. He resigned the BNP whip in October 2012 and became patron of the British Democratic Party. He did not seek re-election in 2014.

Anthony Hancock (publisher)

Anthony Hancock (5 May 1947 – 11 June 2012) was a publisher who created literature for British far right groups and a member of such organisations in the United Kingdom.

Anthony Reed Herbert

Anthony Reed Herbert was a leading member of the British National Front (NF) during the 1970s, organising the party in Leicester and serving as its chief legal adviser (he was a solicitor by profession).

Reed Herbert attended Rugby School. One of his fellow pupils was the author Salman Rushdie. In his autobiography, Joseph Anton: A Memoir, Rushdie believes that his bullying of Reed Herbert at Rugby may have later influenced his racist views.Having previously been chairman of his local Young Conservatives, Reed Herbert became disillusioned with the Tories in 1972 when a Party Conference motion sponsored by Enoch Powell, condemning the government for admitting Ugandan Asian refugees, was defeated. He subsequently joined the NF and swiftly rose to the leadership. To counter accusations from the 'populist' faction of the NF that the leadership was too right wing, in June 1974 he was co-opted onto the NF's Directorate; not being tainted with a fascist past like so many of the NF leaders, he was acceptable as a moderate in the populists' eyes. As a consequence, it was Reed Herbert who cast the deciding vote which unseated John Tyndall as leader and gave the leadership to John Kingsley Read in 1974. Although he thus became associated with the populist wing of the party, he stopped short of joining the National Party when Tyndall regained control and the populists left, instead remaining within the NF. This is not to say that his views are moderate in the wider sense. He is quoted as saying:

The immigrants and the British are racially and genetically incompatible, which is why immigrants must be repatriated. I wish them all the luck in the world, but not here.... I experience tension whenever I see a group of Indians walking down the street. I feel they are alien, a threatening presence.

He contested the Leicester East constituency for the NF in the October 1974 general election, polling 2967 votes (6%). He also stood as NF candidate in the by-election for the Birmingham Ladywood constituency on 18 August 1977, polling 888 votes (5.7%) and forcing the Liberal candidate into fourth place.

In 1979, Reed Herbert broke with the NF to lead his own British Democratic Party. He went on to merge the party into the newly formed British National Party in 1982.


BDP may refer to:

Boogie Down Productions, hip hop group

Building Design Partnership, UK architects

Bund der Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder (BdP), German Scouting and Guiding organisation

Bandwidth-delay product, the product of a data link's capacity and its round-trip delay time.

British Democratic Party (2013)

The British Democratic Party, commonly known as the British Democrats, is a British far-right political party. It was launched in 2013 in a village hall in Leicestershire by a ten-member steering committee which included former members of several political parties including the British National Party (BNP), Democratic Nationalists, Freedom Party and UK Independence Party (UKIP).The party's inaugural president was Andrew Brons, a then Member of the European Parliament (MEP). Brons had been a member of the BNP and a leading member of the National Front (NF). The steering committee included a number of others with a history of membership in fascist and neo-Nazi groups, who believed that the BNP had been corrupted and watered-down.

British Movement

The British Movement (BM), later called the British National Socialist Movement (BNSM), is a British Neo-Nazi organisation founded by Colin Jordan in 1968. It grew out of the National Socialist Movement (NSM), which was founded in 1962. Frequently on the margins of the British far-right, the BM has had a long and chequered history for its association with violence and extremism. It was founded as a political party but manifested itself more as a pressure and activist group. It has had spells of dormancy.

British People's Party

British People's Party may refer to the following parties in the United Kingdom:

British People's Party (1939)

British Democratic Party (British People's Party (1979))

British People's Party (2005)

British People's Party (2015)

Charles Parker (British politician)

Charles Parker was a leading member of the British National Party in its early years and provided the group with much of its funding.

A leading businessman in Brighton, Parker and his wife joined the National Front (NF) in 1975. He soon became the leading member in the area and took charge of the Sussex branch of the party, a position he continued to hold until he joined the BNP, despite having to see off a challenge to his authority from Martin Wingfield.

Parker's daughter Valerie married NF Chairman John Tyndall, who was also based in the Sussex area, in 1977 and as a result Parker became closely associated with Tyndall over the next number of years. Following Tyndall out of the NF in 1980 he became a leading member of the New National Front and provided the financial backing that enabled the fledgling movement to gain a foothold. He took a leading role in the attempts to reach out to other groups that the NNF initiated in the early 1980s and on 7 April 1982 he joined Tyndall, Ray Hill of the British Movement, Capt. Kenneth McKilliam, the founder of the NF's ex-servicemen's organisation and John Peacock of the British Democratic Party at a press conference in a hotel in Victoria, London to announce the foundation of the new BNP.Parker became a leading figure within the BNP, continuing as head of the new group in Sussex, as well as providing much of the party's finances and acting as National Organiser. He also joined Hill in warning Tyndall against making any deals with the Official National Front, after one of its leading members, Joe Pearce, approached Tyndall about the possibility of an alliance. Advancing age meant that his role in the BNP diminished during the 1980s as he retired from politics.

Football Lads Alliance

The Football Lads Alliance (FLA) is a movement in the United Kingdom founded by John Meighan in 2017. According to The Times, "the movement was set up as a self-proclaimed 'anti-extremist' movement" but has increasingly become associated with far-right politics and far-right activists.The Premier League has warned clubs that "the group is using fans and stadiums to push an anti-Muslim agenda". Concern has also been expressed that the Alliance is "giving cover to the far right" and "uses a secret Facebook page full of violent, racist and misogynistic posts".

John Bean

John Edward Bean (born 7 June 1927) is a long-standing participant in the British far right, who has been active within a number of movements.

List of British far-right groups since 1945

The far-right, extreme right, hard right, radical right, fascist-right and ultra-right are terms used to discuss the position a group or person occupies within right-wing politics. The terms are often used to imply that someone is an extremist. The terms have been used by different scholars in somewhat conflicting ways.Far right politics usually involve supremacism — a belief that superiority and inferiority is an innate reality between individuals and groups — and a complete rejection of the concept of social equality as a norm. Far right politics often support segregation; the separation of groups deemed to be superior from groups deemed to be inferior. Far right politics also commonly include authoritarianism, nativism, racism and xenophobia.Many of these parties stem from either the legacy of Sir Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists, or the political views held by either John Tyndall, Andrew Fountain, Eddy Morrison, Ian Anderson, Colin Jordan and A.K. Chesterton, along with those of their parties like the British National Party, National Front (United Kingdom), National Socialist Movement (1960s) and National Democrats (United Kingdom) over the last 40 years.

The ideologies usually associated with the far right include fascism, Nazism and other ultra-nationalist, religiously extreme or reactionary ideologies.The term radical right refers to sections of the far right that promote views which are very conservative in traditional left-right terms, but which aim to break with prevailing institutions and practices. The radical right does not have a clear straightforward structure, but rather consists of overlapping subcultures with diverse styles of rhetoric, dress and symbolism whose cohesion comes from the use of alternative system of communications.

List of fascist movements by country U–Z

A list of political parties, organizations, and movements adhering to various forms of fascist ideology, part of the list of fascist movements by country.

Militant Christian Patriots

The Militant Christian Patriots (MCP) were a short-lived but influential anti-Semitic organisation active in the United Kingdom immediately prior to the Second World War. It played a central role in the ultimately unsuccessful attempts to keep the UK out of any European war.

National Socialist Action Party

The National Socialist Action Party (sometimes called the National Socialist Action Group) was a minor British neo-Nazi political party in the early 1980s. It gained notoriety due to its violent rhetoric and because of several exposés regarding the group's stockpiling of weapons and its plans for armed attacks.

Sharon Ebanks

Sharon Elizabeth Ebanks (born 1967 or 1968) is a former member of the British National Party and one of the founder members of the New Nationalist Party. In 2006, she was wrongly declared elected to Birmingham City Council.

The Link (UK organization)

The Link was established in July 1937 as an 'independent non-party organisation to promote Anglo-German friendship'. It generally operated as a cultural organisation, although its journal, the Anglo-German Review, reflected the pro-Nazi views of Barry Domvile, and particularly in London it attracted a number of anti-semites and pro-Nazis. At its height the membership numbered around 4,300.

The Link was opposed to war between Britain and Germany, and because of this attracted the support of some British pacifists. When The Link and the Anglo-German Review were included among a number of peace organisations across the political spectrum in the Peace Service Handbook (a publication put out by the Peace Pledge Union), the Daily Telegraph and The News Chronicle published articles accusing the PPU of supporting Nazism. In response, PPU member Stuart Morris wrote to the papers stating there was no connection between the PPU and The Link, and that the former organisation did not support the German demand for colonies or peace at the expense of smaller nations. The PPU also sent a letter to its group leaders dissociating The Link from the PPU, and ceased publishing the Peace Service Handbook.The organisation was investigated by Maxwell Knight, head of counter-subversion in MI5 and future role model for James Bond's boss M. The organisation closed shortly after the start of World War II in 1939.

Barry Domvile was interned in 1940 as someone who might "endanger the safety of the realm".According to Anthony Masters, the Link was allegedly resurrected in 1940 by Ian Fleming, then working in the Department of Naval Intelligence, in order to successfully lure Rudolf Hess (deputy party leader and third in leadership of Germany, after Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring) to Britain in May 1941.

Pre-1945 groups
post-1945 groups
Active groups
Pre-1945 people
Post-1945 people
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