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1979 - 1983
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1979 - 1983
NF Vice Chairman Andrew Fountaine suspended Webster's membership. On returning from the United States Tyndall reversed the decision, reinstating Webster and instead suspending Fountaine.

However, the friction between Tyndall and Webster was apparent to many, both inside and outside of the party.

In February 1979, Webster complained in an article in Spearhead that the NF lacked a fully developed ideology. Tyndall responded in the May 1979 edition.

He said, "Do we need an ideology? Of course we do and we already have it! It is a simple and straightforward ideology rooted in a very basic view of life and of history. It is an ideology which sees the world as an arena of competing nations and races and which impels us to ensure that in this arena our nation and race is a winner and not a loser."

The 1979 General Election was a severe set-back for the NF. The average vote of its candidates dropping to 1.3 per cent compared to 3.1 per cent in October 1974. NF support was undermined by resurgence of the Conservative Party under Thatcher. NF leaders complained that she had "stolen their clothes"."

Tyndall resigned from the NF in January 1980 after an argument with Webster. Tyndall formed the New National Front.

Another NF faction, led by Paul Kavanagh, Andrew Fountaine and Richard Franklin, became the short-lived NF Constitutional Movement. This later became the Constitutionalist Movement, and then the Nationalist Party.

Andrew Brons succeeded Tyndall as Chairman of the NF in January 1980. With Martin Webster remaining in the influential position of National Activities Organiser, the NF's policies gradually became more extreme as he exerted his influence.

Over the next four year the NF lacked any sense of direction. Whilst it presented candidates in elections and organised demonstrations, it attracted little support.

Tyndall had taken Spearhead with him and so Nationalism Today was launched as the NF's theoretical journal.

In April 1982, the New National Front became the modern British National Party (BNP). It was now the largest group on the extreme Right with John Tyndall as its leader.

The BNP was and still is strongest in the East and South East of London and parts of Lancashire. Tyndall's deputies were Richard Edmonds and John Morse (a newspaper editor).

During the early 1980s the BNP worked hard to build a secure financial and membership base. The BNP contested 53 seats in the 1983 General Election but attracted a negligible vote.

Within the NF there was a feeling that Webster was to blame for many of its problems and that he should be removed.

Joe Pearce and Nick Griffin resigned from the NF Directorate. They claimed "the NF is a desperately sick organisation. Morale is at an all time low. Membership figures have risen slightly as a result of the general election, but overall it has fallen so much that we are now back to the levels of the start of the 1970s".

Their resignation letter precipitated much intense debate with the party over the validity of its criticism. In December 1983, Webster and his ally Michael Salt were ousted from the NF.


National Front march
John Tyndall on a 1979 National Front march in Leicester


John Tyndall
John Tyndall, founder of the modern day BNP
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