The Christian Party's parliamentary candidate for Croydon Central, the Rev James Gitau, has admitted that he was until recently a member of the far-right British National Party (BNP). He switched parties earlier this month.
Gitau, who was one of the BNP's first non-white members, said that he had decided to back them because they were “the only party that boldly speaks against sodomy in public”. Gitau is affiliated to the United Holy Church of America.
The BNP only recently scrapped their policy of allowing only white people to join. Gitau, who grew up in Kenya and moved to Britain in 1997, joined the BNP shortly after the rule-change. But he decided to leave after finding that the BNP were “too racist”.
He told the Croydon Guardian that the Christian Party approached him to stand on 17 April – only three days before the close of nominations for candidates, suggesting he made up his mind to switch very quickly.
The Christian Party is standing in 71 constituencies in the general election. Led by George Hargreaves, they support a reduction in immigration, opposition to the European Union, an end to the “promotion” of homosexuality, an outright ban on abortion and “keeping” Britain as a “Christian country”.
Gitau says that he still gives advice to BNP leader Nick Griffin, telling him that “racism is not the way forward”.
But he will compete against the BNP's candidate in Croydon Central, Cliff Le May. Le May recently triggered controversy by writing to London Mayor Boris Johnson to object to “violent immigrants who have no right to live among decent civilised white people”.
Despite Gitau's views on sexuality and his use of the word “sodomy”, he claims that he is not homophobic.
“I preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he preaches against homosexuality,” he argued, “I don’t hate homosexuals. I love them. They are my friends. They are human beings. We should love them but teach them to be better people.”
Gitau cannot be accused of lacking optimism. He says that he hopes homosexuals in Croydon will vote for him, “because we are all sinners”.