Fascist BNP attempts to recruit among protesting lorry drivers

THE EXTREME-RIGHT British National Party is targeting lorry drivers protesting about rises in fuel prices and road taxes.

The BNP leadership has instructed members to recruit "as many people as possible" at protest rallies where thousands of drivers have brought Britain's roads to a standstill.

The move, designed to capitalise on dissent about foreign drivers working in Britain, has been condemned as "sinister" by the Labour Party and mainstream truckers' groups.

"It's time those lorry drivers paused and looked at just who is trying to hitch a ride on their protests," said a Labour spokesman.

The neo-Nazi party, which has overtly racist views, has printed campaign literature aimed at drivers worried about foreign truckers undercutting them.

The BNP had an active presence at the protests earlier this month and says it recruited "on the spot" when nine British cities had roads blocked by protesting drivers. The party will step up its presence at drivers' protests planned next month.

"This tax is positive discrimination for foreign workers," said Michael Newland, spokesman for the BNP. "It is squeezing our lorry drivers. The foreign drivers come over as part of the process of internationalism."

Steven Norris, head of the Road Haulage Association, described the BNP's new emphasis on exploiting domestic political grievances as cynical opportunism: "They claim they are the friend of drivers, but I cannot say I welcome this development because what they stand for is loathsome."

The leader of the splinter drivers' group Transaction, which co-ordinated the recent truckers' demonstrations, has refused to condemn BNP's actions.

"They can approach any lorry driver they like," said Frank Stears, a Kent-based haulier. "I don't care. I am not politically minded. I am fighting for the survival of my business."

Truckers believe the hike in diesel cost by 6p a litre means they cannot compete with the continental, paying pounds 644 to fill a 1,000-litre lorry tank in Britain, compared with pounds 340 in Belgium and pounds 369 in France.

The neo-Nazi propaganda leaflet, called "Stopping Labour's Highway Robbery", says: "Demonstrations by lorry drivers and cabbies, like earlier protests by farmers and fishermen, are a welcome sign that the long-suffering taxpayers of Middle Britain have had enough. Independent hauliers ... and ordinary motorists have become the latest victims of the broken promises of the Labour Government."

Tony Blair is to examine introducing a levy on foreign truckers coming to work in Britain.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Life and Style
Men with beards rejoice: Your beard probably doesn't harbour faeces-like bacteria
health
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before