The following statements have been issued by both leadership candidates in response to the pro-Andrew Brons smear booklet that has been sent to thousands of our members and supporters.
Andrew Brons’s Statement
Andrew Brons MEP has condemned in the strongest terms a smear booklet which has apparently been mailed out to a large number of party members and supporters.
“This mailing is totally out of order and can only have been sent out by someone who seeks to destabilise our party,” Mr Brons said.
“I want to emphatically distance myself from this booklet. It is an outrage that it has been sent out by some anonymous group which has dared to use my name.
“I urge the party to urgently establish who is behind this publication, and either prosecute them criminally if at all possible, or to take whatever other steps are necessary to stop this sort of outrage.
“This booklet is either third party intervention, or has come from misguided individuals within the party trying to influence the election. It does neither candidate any good, and must be rejected by all decent nationalists.
“This booklet should be disregarded in the same way that the campaign of smears against me on the internet should be dismissed,” Mr Brons said.
Nick Griffin’s Statement
The glossy brochure filled with lies about my family, hard-working members of my team and me is the most disgusting and dishonest thing I have seen in my 37 years as an active member of our nationalist struggle.
It is full of appalling criminal libels, and it is both sickening and saddening to see so-called ‘patriots’ seeking to pervert the course of this democratic election with character assassinations and blatant fabrications that would have shamed the News of the World.
I am pleased that Mr Brons has condemned the hate-sheet issued to support his campaign.
However, I am disappointed that Andrew’s ‘condemnation’ does not include a single word criticising or refuting the actual contents (as opposed to the appearance) of the smear booklet. Nor does he utter, as a leader surely should, a single word of sympathy for the victims.
Mr Brons wrote or approved his statement on Saturday morning. But at the hustings in Leicestershire, at around 8pm on Saturday night, he announced that he had not even read the smear booklet. Given that it was sent out in his name, how could he not make it his business to read it, digest it and offer his full-hearted support to all its innocent victims?
In Andrew Brons’ statement, he says that the mailing “can only have been sent out by someone who seeks to destabilise our Party”.
This is in direct contradiction to what he told 60 people at the Leicestershire hustings meeting. There, he told us that at 9am on Saturday morning he had asked Richard Edmonds whether he believed that it was possible that the booklet was in fact put out in order to discredit his campaign. Mr Edmonds, he told the meeting, had replied that he was sure, from the content, quality, cost and timing of the booklet, that this was not the case, and that he believed it had been sent out by people who wanted to help get Andrew elected.
I am deeply hurt by the fact that he has allowed his team, over the last few weeks, to publish on his campaign website many of the same baseless and shameful accusations. Indeed, much of the content of the booklet was first published on his own website.
Likewise, his highly paid staff member Eddy Butler has been allowed for more than a year to continue to post an endless stream of hate and untruths on his attack blog against me and our party.
Mr Brons has said that he disapproves of Butler’s activities but that he can do nothing about them. Yes, he could. He could sack him for attacking the Party and other members of his staff, and there is not an Employment Tribunal in the land that would say he was not fully entitled to do so.
Andrew also weakens the power of his ‘condemnation’ by seeking to minimise the truly revolting nature of its contents by equating its sickening criminal libels, sent illegally to the home addresses of thousands of our members, with a handful of little-read and short-lived comments on the internet.
At the end of his statement, Mr Brons tries to equate a few online criticisms directed at him concerning his disagreement with Treasury over bills for various services which the party has provided for him and his Euro office. Now, Andrew is entitled to his own point of view over that issue, but he is not entitled to use that disagreement as a way of trying to minimise or even excuse the criminal libels directed against my family and team.
Andrew has issued this ‘condemnation’, but his campaign team further undermined any appearance of sincerity by immediately posting up several of comments alleging that the booklet was indeed produced by my supporters in order to discredit him.
It is this despicable claim from Andrew’s own team, rather than the booklet itself, that reduced my wife to more tears than anything ever said by any external opponent.
He said at the hustings meeting on Saturday evening that he would immediately order these postings to be removed, but by the time of writing at 12.30 on Sunday afternoon, the comments blaming HQ were still on his website.
I fear that it is becoming increasingly obvious that just as Andrew has proved unable to control his staff member Eddy Butler, he is also unable to control his campaign team. He doesn’t even know what is being attributed to him, and written on his own campaign website.
Finally, I believe that Andrew’s refusal to sack Eddy Butler, the publication on his own campaign site of the same kind of material that has been posted to thousands of members, and now his failure to condemn the contents (as opposed to the appearance) of the smear booklet, has helped to create and maintain the climate of mistrust, suspicion and hatred that has done our party so much damage.
I hope with all my heart that Andrew will take this statement in the spirit in which it is written and take swift steps to remedy the situation and take the poison out of this campaign.
I also implore him to take up my and Clive Jefferson’s sincere offers, made repeatedly over the last two weeks, to visit the office urgently with me and examine for himself the membership database, financial records, legal files and website moderation blogs. It is essential that he studies the facts personally instead of repeating and allowing his team to publish the toxic brew of lies, half-truths, out-of-date information and genuine misunderstandings that several of his advisors are feeding him.
If this is done, and done quickly, there will be far more chance of our continuing to reach the welcome level of agreement that we have managed to do at several of the hustings meetings. A level of agreement that our members so desperately want and deserve.
It is our agreements, rather than our differences, which we must focus on as this campaign draws to a close. For it is willingness to find common ground, to reject the divisiveness of the smear-mongers, and our willingness to forgive and to move on, that offers the best hope for a unified party under whichever of us becomes the duly elected leader.