The 'reverend' on the BNP's election leaflets isn't actually a reverend

Joseph Vesey-Byrne@josephedwardvb
Wednesday 04 May 2016 16:40
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Not quite as funny as the League of Gentlemen's Bernice, or even Papa Lazarou, the 'Reverend' Robert West appears on an election leaflet for BNP (yes, they are still a thing) London Mayoral candidate David Furness.

I'm voting British National Party because they defend our traditional Christian faith. The BNP will refuse planning permission for any more mosques and ban sharia law.

West was previously a Conservative Councillor in Lincolnshire until he was suspended in 2006 for addressing a BNP meeting and criticizing David Cameron's A-list candidates.

In 2009 he stood for the BNP in the Norwich North by-election, coming 7th, and he stood again in 2015 for Boston and Skegness when he came last of 9 candidates.

The main problem here is that it's unclear if he actually is a Reverend

West claims to be an "Ordained elder" in the Apostolic church yet he has not attended their college since 1979 and since then has not been attached to any church other than the Christian Council of Britain - which he set up.

A spokesperson for the Apostolic church told Christian think-tank Ekklesia:

If this person has had any association with The Apostolic Church in the past the only means by which he can maintain either his membership or office is by attending one of our churches.

If he were an active member of the Church his views would not be accepted by the Church and disciplinary action would be undertaken by the Church which strongly distances itself from views such as these.

When asked about his credentias on Big Questions Mr West struggled to answer.

Days after his 2015 election defeat, West made local headlines after he was banned indefinitely from supply teaching. The decision by the National College for Teaching and Leadership came after West told a Year 12 class at Grantham girls' school that "Muslims worship the devil".

Dara Ó Briain also pointed out the other odd endorsements on the leaflet, such as, er, an Irish woman supporting the British National Party.

This bizarre collection of characters doesn't seem like the best front for the BNP, especially if they ever want to be considered a serious political party, especially as its already being squeezed on the far right by Britain First and Ukip.

Maybe this is all elaborate satire. Maybe.

indy100 has attempted to contact the Christian Council of Britain but has found that its website is disbanded

The BNP did not immediately respond to a request for comment

More: Britain First just tried to 'invade' a halal slaughterhouse. It went very badly

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