BNP's council leader made film labelled as 'Marxist gay cinema'

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Indy Politics

A BNP leader has produced and directed a "gay pornographic film", despite his party's criticism of indecency and hatred of gays.

Richard Barnbrook became leader of the opposition on Barking Council in east London when the British National Party won 11 seats in last week's local elections. He directed HMS Discovery: A Love Story, a copy of which has been obtained by the London Evening Standard.

The paper said Mr Barnbrook's film, which had been known about since he stood in the Barking constituency in last year's general election, included long scenes of men undressing and fondling each other, full-frontal nudity and a naked man apparently performing a sex act on another. One group of semi-naked men appear to whip another semi-naked man. The paper said that some of the men in the film were carrying the White Ensign flag, in an apparent nod to the politician's nationalist views.

The film, made in 1989, has been described by one cinema website as " Marxist gay cinema from conceptual artist Barnbrook". It attempted to emulate the style of film-makers such as Derek Jarman and Peter Greenaway, although it achieved no critical acclaim.

In its election manifesto, the BNP asked local parentsif they wanted to "prohibit the teaching of homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle choice" .

It has also claimed homosexuality is "wrong and unhealthy for any community", and labelled it an "unhealthy practice".

Until recently the party has promised to outlaw homosexuality, describing it as "this perverted practice".

Mr Barnbrook, who takes the production and direction credits in the film, denied writing erotic poetry played across the footage. "I am not interested in this," he said. "It was an art film, end of story. It was not a bloody porn film. It is not about homosexuality ­ it's about sexuality. The only nudity in it is a couple of guys running in a river."

Mr Barnbrook said the film was produced when he was a student in the 1980s. "It was part of my extra education, part of my studies and that was it," he added.Anything to do with my past politics or my past work, I am not interested in commenting on."

The party's London co-ordinator, he is second in prominence only to Nick Griffin, the party leader, frequently appearing on television and in newspapers.

Articulate, charismatic and well dressed, Mr Barnbrook has become the poster boy of the BNP. He was a painter, conceptual artist and art teacher before turning to right-wing politics. Searchlight, the anti-fascist organisation, has suggested he was once a Labour Party member.

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