Liberty Great Britain
ChairmanPaul Weston
FoundedMarch 2013
DissolvedNovember 2017[1]
Merged intoFor Britain
HeadquartersRegent Street
London
IdeologyHard Euroscepticism
Right-wing populism
Nationalism[2]
Social conservatism
Political positionFar-right[3]
Website
libertygb.org.uk (Archive)

Liberty Great Britain or Liberty GB was a minor far-right[4] British nationalist political party founded and led by Paul Weston that described itself as counter-jihad.[5]

Liberty GB was anti-immigration, anti-fundamentalist Islam and traditionalist.[6] The group's Facebook page described it as "patriotic counter-jihad party for Christian civilisation, Western rights and freedoms, British culture, animal welfare and capitalism".

History

Foundation by Paul Weston

Paul Weston, the founder, was a former member of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), and was that party's candidate in Cities of London and Westminster at the 2010 general election.[7] He left UKIP over what he described as its failure to address issues related to Islam in Britain, and took over the British Freedom Party (BFP) from Peter Mullins. That party formed an alliance with the far-right English Defence League. Weston left the BFP in 2013. He has predicted that within 20 years there will be a war in Britain between the white working class and immigrants. He is married to a Romanian, and claims to have been a deep sea diver, a pilot in Africa and a property developer in the Czech Republic.[8]

It was registered with the Electoral Commission by Paul Weston and George Whale on 5 March 2013.[9]

2014 European election

Liberty GB stood three candidates in the 2014 European Parliament election in the South East England constituency: Weston, Enza Ferreri (Liberty GB's media officer) and Jack Buckby (Liberty GB's outreach officer).[10] Buckby founded the "National Culturists" while at university in Liverpool in 2012.[11] Its three candidates received 2,414 votes (0.11%),[12] placing it 14th of the 15 parties contesting the election.[12]

2014 Paul Weston arrest

On 26 April 2014, Weston was arrested while addressing passers-by outside Winchester Guildhall. A member of the public complained to police and he was detained after failing to move on under a dispersal order. He was further arrested on suspicion of religious or racial harassment.[8][13] Weston's speech quoted from Winston Churchill's 1899 book The River War, about Churchill's experiences as a British army officer in Sudan; the passage quoted was critical of Islam. Weston is a former UK Independence Party (UKIP) candidate who left that party over what he described as its failure to address issues related to Islam in Britain, and then joined the British Freedom Party.[14]

2014 Tim Burton radio host trial

Tim Burton, a radio presenter who was a member of Liberty GB, was acquitted of charges of racially aggravated harassment on 4 May 2014 at Birmingham magistrates' court. He had tweeted comments about Fiyaz Mughal OBE, a Muslim campaigner of Tell MAMA UK.[15]

2016 Batley and Spen by-election

Following the killing of the incumbent Labour MP Jo Cox, Liberty GB contested the Batley and Spen by-election (the Conservative Party, Liberal Democrats, Green Party and UKIP declined to contest it). The party's candidate was Jack Buckby, who was a member of the youth division of the British National Party (BNP) under Nick Griffin before leaving the party. He says he left because he believed that the BNP was too racist.[16] Buckby polled just over 1% of the vote; he lost his deposit, as did all the candidates except the winner, the Labour candidate Tracy Brabin.

Dissolution by Paul Weston

Paul Weston dissolved the party in November 2017, choosing instead to back Anne Marie Waters' new party, For Britain.[17]

Electoral performance

General election, 7 May 2015

The party contested three constituencies, obtaining a total of 418 votes.

Constituency Candidate Votes %
Birmingham Ladywood Timothy Burton 216 0.6[18]
Lewisham West and Penge George Whale 44 0.1[19]
Luton South Paul Weston 158 0.4[20]

2016 Batley and Spen by-election

Constituency Candidate Votes %
Batley and Spen Jack Buckby 220 1.1[21]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-12-11. Retrieved 2018-10-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Batley Liberty GB candidate calls on UKIP for joint candidacy", Liberty GB website,18 September 2016. Retrieved 17 December 2017. ("Liberty GB, the conservative, nationalist party....")
  3. ^ "Liberty GB – An Insight into the ‘Group’", TellMAMA, 14 January 2014
    - Jamie Micklethwaite, "Sydenham and Forest Hill hustings cancelled after candidates allegedly refuse to appear at event with Liberty GB member George Whale", News Shopper, 27 April 2015
    - Lizzie Dearden, "Former Ukip candidate and Pegida UK leader says 'Muslims should not hold political power' and claims Syrian refugees do not exist", The Independent, 5 February 2016
    - Jess Commons, "Why You Need To Watch The Documentary Exploring If Britain Actually Is Racist", The Debrief 5 October 2015
    - Mike Lockley, "Radio host cleared over 'scumbag' tweet jibe to Musilm campaigner ", Birmingham Mail, 4 May 2014
  4. ^ Siobhan Fenton, "Jo Cox: Former BNP politician Jack Buckby to contest by-election for murdered MP's Batley and Spen seat", The Independent, retrieved 19 June 2016
  5. ^ Lee, Benjamin (4 September 2015). "A Day in the "Swamp": Understanding Discourse in the Online Counter-Jihad Nebula" (PDF). Democracy and Security. 11 (3): 248–274. doi:10.1080/17419166.2015.1067612. Open source version
  6. ^ Sonia Gable, "Liberty it isn’t" Archived 3 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine Searchlight, 12 March 2013
  7. ^ Kevin Rawlinson (25 November 2011). "English Defence League prepares to storm local elections". The Independent. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  8. ^ a b Martin Evans, "Election candidate arrested over Churchill speech", The Telegraph, 28 April 2014
  9. ^ Liberty GB, Electoral Commission registration record
  10. ^ South East Euro Candidates 2014, UK Polling Report
  11. ^ Matthew Francey, Jack Buckby is proud to be Britain's next Nick Griffin", Vice, 20 February 2013
  12. ^ a b "Vote 2014 - South East", BBC News, 26 May 2014
  13. ^ "Euro candidate Paul Weston arrested over Islam remarks", BBC News, 28 April 2014
  14. ^ Evan, Martin (28 April 2014). "Election candidate arrested over Churchill speech".
  15. ^ Mike Lockley, "Radio host cleared over 'scumbag' tweet jibe to Muslim campaigner", Birmingham Mail, 4 May 2014
  16. ^ Cowburn, Ashley (20 June 2016). "Jo Cox: Liberty GB Move to Contest Labour MP's Former Seat Branded 'Obscene' and 'Contemptible'". www.independent.co.uk. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  17. ^ "An Important Announcement from Paul Weston Concerning the Future of Liberty GB - Liberty GB". libertygb.org.uk. Archived from the original on 4 December 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  18. ^ ELECTION 2015 Birmingham Ladywood, BBC News. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  19. ^ ELECTION 2015 Lewisham West & Penge, BBC News. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  20. ^ ELECTION 2015 Luton South, BBC News. Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  21. ^ Samantha Gildea, "Batley and Spen by-election: Labour's Tracy Brabin elected as new MP" Archived 21 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine. Huddersfield Examiner, 21 October 2016