Andrew Brons: The quiet academic with a 'silly' teenage Nazi past

Jerome Taylor
Tuesday 09 June 2009 00:00
Comments

A soft-spoken veteran of far- right politics, Andrew Brons appears to epitomise the sort of acceptable face of British nationalism that party leader Nick Griffin hopes will persuade voters that the BNP is no longer an extremist or racist fringe party.

Grey-haired with an almost donnish demeanour, Mr Brons has followed a career as a lecturer in politics at Harrogate College.

But beyond the 61-year-old's smart attire lies a tried and tested far-right pedigree that stretches back half a century.

His first dalliance with extremist far-right politics began at the age of 17 when he joined the National Socialist Movement, an organisation founded on Hitler's birthday in the early 1960s.

NSM members were responsible for numerous attacks on synagogues and Jewish property throughout the 1960s and also spawned John Tyndall who went on to found the second incarnation of the British National Party with his friend Nick Griffin.

Mr Brons joined the National Front in the 1970s when the neo-fascist group was at the height of its power, eventually becoming its chairman after Tyndall left.

Forced out in 1984, he faded from public view until four years ago when he joined the British National Party, eventually standing as an MEP candidate for the European elections.

Asked by The Independent yesterday whether he still held the same beliefs as when he joined the National Socialist Movement, Mr Brons said: "People do silly things when they are 17. Peter Mandelson was once a member of the Young Communist League but we don't continue to call him a communist."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in