There’s a couple of, to the say least, interesting rumours/allegations doing the rounds locally in relation to last weeks elections in the Tipton area, which returned BNP councillors in two of the three wards contested.
The one I’m happy to pass-on at the moment, relates to a former Labour Party member who defected to the Tories after failing to make the local panel of candidates a couple of years ago in order to stand – unsuccessfully – for election as a councillor, and who was seen on the night of the election shaking hands with the BNP candidate who won the seat.
(In case you’re wondering, this kind of ‘switching horses’ in order to secure a nomination is not so unusual at local level – there are always a few whose personal ambition to become a councillor at all costs will override any notion of political loyalities – one of the more memorable one’s, locally, was a particular individual who jumped to the Tories to secure a nomination after – again – being turned down by the local Labour Party. What made this one particularly interesting was that one of main reasons that Labour declined to put him forward was the discovery that his wife appeared on the register of electors no less than three times, under different names and at different addresses, something which, it appeared, held no particular concerns for the local Tory Party.)
What makes this particular handshake interesting is not only that there is a bit of a history of there being a lack of ‘clear water’ between some of the Tories in Tipton and far-right parties – on at least one occasion I can recall, a candidate who had stood for the Tories in previous years shipped up as a candidate for the far-right ‘Freedom Party’ in a local election – and persistant rumours over the last few years of under-the-table deals between some local Tories and far-right candidates, but also that the person seen shaking the BNP candidate’s hand turns out to be a member of the local Asian community.
There is a second interesting story doing the rounds, in relation to the matter of whether one of the Tipton Three was seen outside a polling station in Tipton on Thursday, and if so, which of the political parties they were canvassing for – for which I’m awaiting further verification for publishing anything.