Britain-FirstLast week I was invited to contribute a piece on Britain First to the LSE’s excellent ‘British Politics and Policy’ blog.

To read the article in full, click here.

To whet your appetite, the first few paragraphs are reproduced below.

Britain First – More than the mere sum of the parts left over by the BNP & EDL

The recent decision to grant planning permission for a new mosque in Dudley comes after more than a decade of arguing and wrangling in the West Midlands town. As well as the financial cost – alleged to be in the millions – the highly divisive nature of the campaign has been played out at the expense of community relations, creating a void that different far-right groups and organisations have historically sought to exploit.

It is maybe no surprise that the far-right’s ‘new kid on the block’, Britain First sought to get in on the act. Unlike the British National Party (BNP) which gained a seat on the local council and the English Defence League (EDL) which organised some of its biggest marches in the town, Britain First took the protest in a new – and somewhat vile – direction, announcing that they planned to bury a dead pig a on the site declaring that the Qur’an forbids any building on ground containing ‘swine’.

And when it’s not making threats in Dudley, Britain First is standing candidates for public positions, such as in the recent by-election in Rochester and Strood, or running social media campaigns that somewhat insidiously lurk behind rather less innocuous messages that offer support to ‘our’ war heroes on Remembrance Sunday or even more bizarrely, loveable dogs.

To read on, click here.

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