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Annual College

Annual College
In October 2001, 100 BNP organisers from around the country gathered in a West Midlands hotel to plan its 2002 local elections campaign. The audience wore suits and ties and the talk was of community politics and local council election victories.

According to the BNP, the college was to provide organisers with "the necessary skills needed to build a modern and well-run BNP."

Martin Wingfield led a discussion on community politics and Tony Lecomber taught canvassing techniques commonly used by mainstream political parties. Paul Golding discussed databasing skills and John Brayshaw explained changes to party accounting and financing.

Despite the appearance of political respectability, many of the organisers present have racist and criminal pasts.

Greeting the BNP organisers at a nearby service station was Neil Keilty, a BNP member and Aston Villa football hooligan from Birmingham.

In 1994 Keilty was sent to prison for one year for an attack on an Irish pub in north London. He has also been involved in the National Front, Combat 18 and the International Third Position.

Others present included David Hannam, the BNP organiser for Hull. In 2000 he was convicted of producing and distributing an anti-Semitic BNP leaflet during the 1999 European Election.

Also present was Mark Matthews, the BNP organiser from Coventry. Matthews runs the 14-Words Press, a rightwing book club dedicated to promoting US nazi material. His Post Office box is also used by the nazi music group Blood and Honour as a regional contact.

Party Organisers pose for a photo
Party organisers at the "Annual College" pose for a group photo

Nick Griffin & Neil Keilty
Nick Griffin pictured with Neil Keilty at the "Annual College"

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