About 75 E.Mids members, m/ship carefully checked by membership card, attended.
On the table EMRO/Returning Officer, Geoff Dickens, BNP Leader Mr.Nick Griffin MEP, Mr. Andrew Brons MEP and Paul Hilliard of Derbyshire, Supervisor of meeting.
Mr. Dickens announced the terms of the meeting, giving ample time for both applicants to express their views, then departed, leaving the hall in the capable hands of Mr. Hilliard.
A coin was spun, giving Mr. Brons the first chance to speak, which he then did for 25 mins, according to the Chairman`s Rules. Mr.Brons told us he was reasonably happy with the results of the General Election (2010) and subsequent local elections (2011). He thought we came out better than did the Greens and UKIP (candidates we don`t often fight against in Leics.) He stressed that, due to the make-up of the present (Cons./Lib)govt., there was always the threat of a sudden General Election, if the Coalition suddenly fell apart. Our party must try to become a LARGE party, similar to the so-called `3 major parties`, and that old members, recently having left the party, must be won back, along with new ones as well. Modernisation and more democracy in the party was also necessary, as well as Freedom of Speech, said Andrew. No pressure must be applied for factional purposes through the newspaper "Freedom`; this to be used/distributed absolutely non-factionally. Party resources belong TO THE PARTY and NOT to the elected Chairman. Mr. Brons speech delivered, sadly from a seated position on the stage, was well received.
Party Leader Nick Griffin, out front on the floor of the hall, spoke of the success of his 12 years of leadership.`BNP issues now in the centre of British politics -our ideas, not theirs! A large step forward from 1999, he told us. He agreed it was now time for a new leader, but that `it would take him 4 years to train one, He admitted the party`s debts, saying however that they`d dropped from nearly £3/4 million to ONLY £52,000. He thanked Geoff Dickens for all that he`s done over the years (which goes without saying) and that, sadly, membership had fallen by about 30%, but was now rising again. He ended with much ado about Andrew`s recently-printed criticisms - much of which Andrew denied his association with.
In a `Reply` situation, both threw a lot of `flak` at each other, mostly about what their respective employed staffs had done, or said. A bit boring, this! Under question from the Members, Andrew admitted he didn`t intend to be Leader (if elected) for more than 4 years. Both applicants agreed that new members should NOT be allowed to vote for 24 months. This was a real error, we were told, committed by the N.Front some years ago.
Nick told the Members present that it was necessary to get involved on local public affairs; politics, petitions, needs of pensioners,etc -to `put ourselves about` and get known to the public. He also made us aware of the fact that the E.U. was now accepting BNP advice and imput on the matter of racial attacks on other racial groups in the E.U.,(incl. Britons)and including racist language, a fact that had, until recently, eluded these gentlemen. Both agreed that all must come together after the election result had been declared, and to `buck in` behind the new Leader.
Meeting ended at 20:15.
A final collection, to pay for the hall, raised the sum of £217.98. Any suplus to be paid into the Peacock Club (East Midlands Regional Fund).