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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee