Tory club hoodwinked into hosting wake for BNP chief
By Peter Lazenby
AN EXTREMIST group held a meeting at a West Yorkshire Conservative club in memory of the death of a leading figure in Britain's far-right fringe, John Tyndall, founder of the British National Party.
The event by the Nationalist Alliance, which includes members of the White Nationalist Party and the National Front, was held at Rawdon Conservative Club, eight miles from Leeds.
The club was attacked and windows were smashed during the event, and the club has been attacked since.
The club's secretary John Bramma says he was unaware of the nature of the group which had booked the club. He said some of those attending wore "combat type" clothing.
It has emerged that the gathering took place at the club on the afternoon of Saturday September 10. Police attended when windows were smashed from outside the club.
Mr Bramma said: "I do not deal with the bookings. We have a bookings secretary and she has admitted it was something completely different to what she thought .
"They just booked as a bloke called Mr Hobbs from Emmerdale Grove in Kirkstall."There is no such address.
"She thought it was going to be a re-union, about somebody who had died. The person who booked the room said that there would be a party and they would present some eulogies.
"I did not get up to the club until after 3pm. They were there in the meeting room for the party.
"According to our bar staff and steward there were no problems inside the club. Later on we found out there was all this other stuff going on."
The party was held behind closed doors. Bar staff did not enter the room during the event. People at the party left the room to get drinks at a separate bar.
Mr Bramma said: "I got back home and got a call to say there had been windows put through in the toilet and we had to report it to the police in case we had to claim insurance.
"The police asked if we wanted to make it public knowledge but we said no. They said somebody had spotted what was happening and dialled 999.
"When I got up to the club the majority had gone. I got up there about 4.15. They had booked the room till six.
"We had some more windows put through the other night. We do not know if it was someone else or whether they did it themselves to try get some publicity.
"It sickened me when the trouble started afterwards. It was towards the back end of the meeting that the windows went through. We've not had problems before. We just do not know when it is going to finish now."
The Nationalist Alliance advertised the meeting as being in Leeds but did not specify a venue. The organisation uses "referral points" at which its members gather and are told the venue.
The NA advertised speakers at the meeting as Richard Edmonds, a hard-line right-winger, Eddy Morrison from Wakefield, former leader of the White Nationalist Party and now leader of the Nationalist Alliance, and John Wood, also a former senior officer with the White Nationalist Party.
• John Tyndall, founder of the extreme-right and racist British National Party, died in July, two days before he was due to appear in Leeds Crown Court on race hate incitement charges.