The British National Party’s Advisory Council (AC) and other key figures of the party’s structure have completed a weekend of forward planning to overhaul and modernise the party as Nick Griffin MEP announced his intention to step down as leader by the end of 2013 to concentrate on his re-election campaign to the European Parliament.
The extended AC meeting and strategy planning session, held in the East Midlands, also contained a full analysis of the election results, a report on current membership levels, a review of the modernising measures the party is putting in place to bring its election fighting capability up to speed and a no-holds barred presentation and question and answer session with party consultant Jim Dowson.
Mr Griffin made his leadership decision announcement at the end of the first day of the proceedings.
“By then I would have been leader of the BNP for 15 years and that is long enough,” Mr Griffin said.
“It will be time to make way for a younger person who does not have any baggage which can be used against the party.”
Mr Griffin said the timing of his move was predicated by his desire to bring about what he called the putting into place of the last “building blocks” of the BNP’s administrative and political machine.
“This is going to take at least 18 months to implement and after that I intend to hand the party over to someone who will be able to drive support up to where it can be a serious contender for power,” he said.
Mr Griffin said he would concentrate on getting re-elected to the European Parliament in the 2014 Euro elections, adding that he was sure the party could retain its two seats and add several more to the tally.
“I then intend to help the other European nationalist parties to achieve the level of sophistication which the BNP has been able to build up, because a victory for any one of these parties is a victory to all of us.”
Other news to come out of the conference included:
- Current party membership stands at just under 14,000 and is increasing by several hundred every month;
- The party membership churn rate -- the rate at which members fail to renew their membership -- has been cut from over 70 percent to less than 20 percent thanks to the efficient call centre and administrative machine the party now possesses;
- The BNP’s communication team has been reorganised and will soon be dovetailing with the revamped elections team;
- The way that the BNP fights elections is to be revolutionised. The “bloody nose” which the party received in the local elections has provided the BNP with an insight into how the Labour Party has switched to a technologically-intensive campaigning methodology, and the lessons have been learned. The BNP will also now be upgrading its systems to match that of the Labour Party and will leave the old method of election fighting behind;
The figures behind the BNP’s fundraising campaign were revealed in Jim Dowson’s presentation which was followed by an intensive question and answer session. The pertinent facts are as follows:
- The Truth Truck is owned by the BNP, contrary to internet rumour-mongers, a fact confirmed in person by the BNP treasurer who paid for the vehicle, Jennie Noble.
- Mr Dowson does not take a commission on any membership applications or other transactions which run through the call centre in Belfast, once again contrary to internet rumour-mongers.
- The Midas Consultancy has raised more that £2.6 million in donations for the BNP since January 2008, at a cost of £165,000.
“The BNP emerged from the meeting re-energised and ready for the ongoing struggle to save our nation from destruction at the hands of the old parties,” Mr Griffin concluded.
A BNPtv interview with Mr Griffin will follow shortly.