The International Business Times reports on the announcement by Britain First that their leader, Paul Golding, plans to run in the London mayoral election next year. The announcement includes the controversial remark that the far right group’s opponents should be hung as punishment for being “traitors”.
Deputy leader of Britain First, Jayda Fransen, made the announcement on Sunday on the group’s Facebook page, along with a comment stating “pro-EU, Islamist-loving opponents” should be hung as punishment for “crimes against our country”
Ms Fransen wrote: “They think they can get away with ruining our country, turning us into a Third World country, giving away our homes, jobs and heritage. But they will face the wrath of the British First movement, make no mistake about it! We will not rest until every traitor is punished for their crimes against our country. And be punished, I mean good old-fashioned British justice at the end of a rope!”
Following the announcement the far right group appealed for donations to fund Mr Golding’s campaign. Britain First have promised to reinforce the “British First brand” and transform the group from a “street army” to an “electoral party”.
Ms Fransen went on to write: “We need every single member, activist, commanding officer and supporter to chip in to our campaign fund. When you contribute with a gift of £20, £50, £100 or even £500 or £1,000, it will help build a lasting legacy, a ray of hope for our beleaguered and long-suffering people in our beloved capital city.”
While the group resolutely told their supporters that they “cannot and will not be beaten”, many people used Twitter to dismiss the announcement of Mr Golding’s candidacy. Some said the only way the group would be able to win the election next year is indeed by hanging their opponents, while others mocked the far right group for even attempting to run for the mayoral seat.
Paul Golding’s mayoral announcement also included a statement suggesting the Church of England was “siding with Islam”, after thirteen members of clergy from the Church of England wrote an open letter to the far right group raising concerns about their plans to protest against the building of a mosque in Burton, Staffordshire. The letter read: What disturbs us is the implication that ‘Britishness’ and Islam should be seen as incompatible. We support, under the law, freedom of worship and religious assembly. We support, under the law, building for that purpose.”
It is not the first time Paul Golding or Britain First have attempted to break into politics by contesting elections. In the 2014 European Parliament elections, Paul Golding stood for a seat in the Wales region, along with three other BF candidates contesting seats for the European Parliament. His deputy, Jayda Fransen, was one of six candidates seeking a seat in the Scotland region. Britain First tried to exploit the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby adding to its ballot sheet the words, ‘Remember Lee Rigby’, an error for which the Electoral Commission was forced to apologise.