BNP seeks alliance with anti-abortion activists

By staff writers
March 6, 2007

The British National Party (BNP) is seeking to build an alliance with anti-abortion activists in an attempt to reach out to Catholics and secure their votes in future elections, reports the Observer newspaper.

The news comes after the think tank Ekklesia highlighted the BNP's work to appeal to the Christian vote.

Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, and one of his close deputies confirmed on Saturday that they held private talks last week with the UK co-ordinator of Life League, an anti-abortion lobby group, reports the newspaper.

Griffin and Mark Collet spent two days with James Dowson, an Ulster-based businessman and the main force behind Life League.

But the meeting has outraged other anti-abortion campaigners. A number of them, who wanted to remain anonymous, contacted The Observer newspaper last weekend. One, who described himself as a 'mainstream anti-abortion and anti-racist', condemned the BNP.

Griffin claimed that amplifying the party's 'pro-life' policies would win it new votes among Catholics. "There used to be a perception in Northern Ireland and Scotland that we were an Orange party. This is not so," he said. The BNP, like Dowson, wanted to reach across the sectarian divide.

"If there is any plus for us in meeting Life League and highlighting our opposition to abortion, it is that it chimes with the feelings of many working-class Scottish Catholics," the BNP leader said. His main candidate in Glasgow would be stressing the BNP's opposition to abortion in the forthcoming Scottish elections.

Dowson said the league had a 'moral duty to engage with anyone who will listen in order to promote our pro-life agenda'.

The BNP has previously facilitated the establishment of a "Christian Council of Britain", according to its founder. The party has also claimed to be defending white "Christian Britain" and its members were seen alongside Christians at protests during the regional tour of 'Jerry Springer: The Opera'.

However the party has been condemned by bishops and mainstream Christian denominations.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.