A senior BNP member on the Greater London Assembly faces possible suspension after he admitted fabricating murders in a London borough amid a media frenzy over knife crime in the capital.
Richard Barnbrook, GLA member and councillor for the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, stated in May last year in a video posted on YouTube and the Daily Telegraph website that three people had been murdered in Barking and Dagenham in the preceding three weeks.
He said that, “three weeks ago, there was a murder of a young girl. We don’t know who’s done it, her girlfriend was attacked inside an educational institute.
“Again, two weeks ago there was another attack by knives on the streets of Barking and Dagenham where two people were murdered.”
But the Metropolitan Police have stated that no murders occurred in the area within the time frame referred to by Mr Barnbrook.
In a complaint to the GLA standards committee, Labour councillor Val Rush, who is also a councillor for Barking and Dagenham, said: “Richard Barnbrook quite clearly states that a young girl was murdered in an educational establishment in Barking and Dagenham. I know this to be an absolute lie.
“He also goes on to claim a further two murders (took place) in the borough in the last two weeks, which is also a lie.”
Ms Rush accused him of “a total lack of honesty and integrity,” saying that his actions had brought the GLA and the council into disrepute.
According to the GLA joint report with the council into the complaint, which has been seen by the Star, Mr Barnbrook admitted when interviewed by officers that he knew his statement to be false when he made it but said he would not apologise.
He is quoted as saying that he “did not believe he had misled people as murders are happening.”
The report concluded: “We find that Mr Barnbrook has failed to comply with the code of conduct of both the GLA and the LBBD by bringing his office and the respective authorities into disrepute.”
Hope Not Hate activist Nick Lowles said: “This admission by Barnbrook that he lied about violent disorder in his area to promote himself and his party tells you all you need to know about him and the BNP.
“At a time when all parties are trying to find a solution to knife crime, Barnbrook and the BNP are seeking to exploit it for their own gain.”
A spokesman for the GLA told the Star: “A complaint was made to the GLA and LBBD and a joint investigation was conducted. The investigative report decided that a breach of conduct had occurred but the standards committee has not yet formally found this.
“The report will go to a meeting, the date of which has yet to be decided.”
The maximum penalty is six months suspension without pay, he confirmed.
Copyright Morning Star