Andrew Brons

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Andrew Brons (born 1947[1]) is a British politician who has been involved in a number of far-right organisations. He was a member of the European Parliament for the British National Party between 2009 and 2014. At the same time, he pursued a career lecturing in politics at Harrogate College, a further education institution in North Yorkshire.[2]

As a teenager Brons joined the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi organisation founded by Colin Jordan. In the sixties the NSM was involved in arson against synagogues, something that Brons had mixed feelings about: "On this subject I have a dual view, in that I realise that he is well intentioned, I feel that our public image may suffer considerable damage as a result of these activities", he wrote in 1965. "I am however open to correction on this point."[3][4][5]

Brons later moved on to the National Front and became its education officer.[4] In 1980 the NF's leader John Tyndall left to start what would become the British National Party, and Brons replaced him as chairman of the National Front.[6]

In 1984 Brons was convicted of using insulting words and behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace; this was after Brons led a group of NF demonstrators who reportedly chanted "death to Jews", with Brons calling an Asian police constable an "inferior being", although Brons continues to deny these allegations.[7] Brons resigned as National Front chairman later that year; according to reports, he objected to violent statements made by NF supporter Ian Stuart.[8]

After spending twenty-odd years in obscurity Brons joined the BNP around 2005.[3] In 2009 he and BNP leader Nick Griffin were elected to European Parliament, something which the party hailed as a great achievement; Brons was one of the MEPs for the Yorkshire and the Humber region.[9] However, in 2012 Brons resigned from the party, chastising Griffin and objecting to being "marginalised to such an extent in what is left of the British National party that I have been expelled in all but name".[10] Retaining his seat as MEP Brons set about establishing a party of his own.

The party was set to be named True Brits and chaired by a former BNP member named Peter Phillips. The openly gay Phillips promptly walked out of the discussions following homophobic comments, however, and took the True Brits name with him. Brons' new outfit eventually emerged at the end of November 2012 as the British Democratic Party, with Kevin Scott as chair.[11][3] He did not seek re-election to the European Parliament in 2014, with the BNP in steep decline and his own party infinitessimal, as far right supporters turned their attention to the anti-Muslim policies of the English Defence League or to UKIP.[12][13]