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1992 - 1993
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1992 - 1993
The BNP announced that it would contest 14 seats in the General Election although only 13 stood including John Tyndall and Lady Jane Birdwood.

In early 1992, the BNP formed Combat 18 as a stewarding group to protect its events. Combat 18, taking its name from the first and eighth letter of the alphabet - AH - for Adolph Hitler, attracted the most violent supporters of Britain's far right.

Its leaders include Paul David 'Charlie' Sargent, a man with convictions for drug running and Eddie Whicker, a former National Front parliamentary candidate and a leading activist with London UDA.

The targets of attacks by Combat 18 included the offices of the Morning Star in April 1992 and the Democratic Left offices in Birmingham in August 1992.

ZoŽ Heller interviewed The BNP's chairman, John Tyndall, in August 1992 for an article in the Independent on Sunday.

She said, "The BNP was certainly the ugliest organisation I had come across in my search for an authentic Nazi menace. In spite of everything, though, it still seemed less frightening than ludicrous.... But to see [Tyndall] travel three-and-a-half hours up the motorway in order to lead 250 men around a deserted Walsall industrial estate, with only a heavy contingent of police and a few curious children on bikes as his audience, is to understand the pathetic truth of the man".

By the end of 1992, the BNP had grown to around 2,000 members organised in to more that 50 branches.

BNP member Barry Osborne attracted 657 votes, 20% of votes cast in a by-election in the Millwall ward of Tower Hamlets, the most successful result to date.

Four 'activists' were jailed in July 1993 for an attack on staff from an Indian restaurant in Buntingford, Hertfordshire. Two of the four were BNP members. The other two both admitted to regularly attending BNP gigs and rallies.

The head of the Football Unit of the National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS), Superintendent Adrian Appleby, claimed that the BNP had targeted several football clubs.

He identified Heart of Midlothian, Chelsea, Glasgow Rangers, Blackburn, Burnley and Oxford United. Many members of the Chelsea Headhunters and the Portsmouth-based 657 Crew were apparently BNP supporters.

The BNP achieved victory in a local by-election in September 1993. Derek Beackon became councillor for the Millwall ward of Tower Hamlets.

He attracted 33.9 per cent of the vote, a swing of 11 per cent to the BNP since a similar council by-election in Millwall in October 1992.

On 19 September 1993 police used riot shields and horses to break up fights between BNP and anti-Fascist activists who had met in the East End. Twenty-seven activists were arrested. A subsequent council meeting was postponed because violence was feared.

A split occurred between Combat 18 and the British National Party. BNP leader John Tyndall, who had previously relied upon C18 for providing physical back-up for the BNP's activities, claimed that it had become hostile to the BNP.

In particular, Tyndall was irritated that C18's magazine The Order had questioned his ability to lead the party. BNP members were told that no members could simultaneously be members of Combat 18. In response dozens of BNP members left to join C18.

Adolf Hitler
Combat 18 took its name from the initials of Adolf Hitler

Derek Beackon
Derek Beackon celebrates his victory in the 1993 local elections
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