Leaflets attacking the English Democrat party have been distributed in the Hiltingbury wards where two EDP candidates are standing in the Borough election.
The leaflets bear the logo of the Southampton branch of Unite against Fascism – an organisation supported by broad range of politicians and Trades Unionists whose stated aim is to counter ‘the rise of far right and fascist organisations, in particular the British National Party (BNP)’.
The ‘antifa’ group is noted for their high profile public demonstrations against the BNP.
The leaflets claim that a ‘large number’ of EDP’s 90 candidates standing in this years local elections are former BNP members although it only names two of them – EDP candidates who are standing in Leeds and Epping Forest.
Both the EDP candidates standing in Eastleigh, John Edwards – a former Labour Councillor and Mark Lancaster a retired Police Officer, deny that they are former BNP members or fascists and describe the allegations as “slanderous and outright lies”.
They say they suspect the leaflets may have been distributed with the help of political rivals in an attempt to discredit them before Thursdays poll.
Mr Edwards who is Chairman of the Hampshire and Eastleigh branch of the party said:
“The attack on The English Democrats and its two candidates standing in the Eastleigh Borough Council elections, accusing them of being members of a fascist party, is without foundation.
The organisation, Unite Against Fascism (UAF) has been attacking The English Democrats through a leaflet campaign which led the party to make a formal complaint to Hampshire Police with regard to misleading statements that may contravene the Representation of the People Act, Section 106”
The English Democrat Party national manifesto calls for an elected English Parliament, EU withdrawal and ‘an end to mass immigration’ through the introduction of a points based system.
Eastleigh News has contacted Southampton UAF for a comment but has not yet received a response.
John Edwards Local Election address here