BNP recruiting ‘future fascists' - Welsh First Minister

 

The British National Party's plans to run a scouts-style camp weekend for teenagers were today condemned by Wales's First Minister, Rhodri Morgan.

The event, known as Camp Excalibur, has been advertised on the party's website and is due to go ahead on September 29 and 30.

Being billed as "all but politics free", the two-day gathering, which is the first of the BNP's "new youth camps", will feature a closing address by BNP chairman Nick Griffin and Young BNP chairman Mark Collett.

Mr Morgan said he had heard speculation that the weekend was due to be held in Wales and said he was disgusted by the idea.

"I have heard rumours that the youth camp the BNP is putting on is to be located in Wales," Mr Morgan said.

"If this is true, I think I speak for everyone in expressing my total revulsion at the very idea that Wales would be playing host to Nick Griffin brainwashing the more gullible young people.

"The BNP is pretending to be putting on a fun weekend, but are trying to recruit future fascists."

He added: "The fact that the only BNP candidate standing in Wales at the recent general election got the lowest votes of his party anywhere in Britain was testimony to Welsh good sense."

The location of the camp is not specified on the BNP website, but people are invited to write to a PO Box number in Welshpool, Powys.

In August, the BNP held its Red-White-and-Blue "family festival" for members near Welshpool. The rally took place on private farm land in Llanerfyl, next to land owned by Nick Griffin. Fearing violent clashes between the BNP and Anti-Nazi League campaigners, Dyfed Powys Police issued a public order notice banning protesters against the rally from the area.

Activities at the camp later this month, which is aimed at young people aged between 14 and 25, will include paintballing, archery, football, a quiz, swimming, hiking and other outdoor pursuits, the BNP website reveals. "Camp Excalibur is all but politics free, apart from a closing meeting addressed by Young BNP chairman Mark Collett and national chairman Nick Griffin," it states.

"Camp Excalibur is not just a male event! There is plenty to do for young women as well, and several girls are helping to organise the weekend."

In a website message from Nick Griffin, he says the camp "will be a cracker, weather permitted".

A BNP said spokesman there had been a high level of interest in the weekend.

"We're still organising it and getting it ready. We're not releasing details to members of where it's going to be held until nearer the time," the spokesman said.

Dyfed Powys Police in Welshpool said they were not aware of plans for the BNP camp, but would expect a police presence to be used if details were confirmed.

PA