Thurrock councillor hits back after National Front past is revealed

Thurrock Gazette: Thurrock councillor hits back after National Front past is revealed Thurrock councillor hits back after National Front past is revealed

A THURROCK councillor has hit back at critics after it was revealed he was a far-right National Front campaigner in his youth.

Robert Ray, Aveley and Uplands ward councillor and the sole representative of the UKIP party in Thurrock, stood as a candidate for the National Front in Newham in 1977 and was also a local organiser.

Cllr Ray, regarded as a very hard working member of Thurrock Council and an active community member, told the Thurrock Gazette he severed all ties with the party years ago and it is thought that he joined UKIP before leader Nigel Farage said that former National Front and BNP members were not welcome in the party.

The National Front is a far right, racial nationalist, whites-only political party which was most popular in the seventies. Several groups still operate in the UK.

Cllr Ray said the news didn’t trouble him when it became public knowledge as he had declared it to his party long ago.

He said: “It didn’t phase me in the slightest as it was always in the public remit and it has been declared on the public record.

“It is nearly 40 years ago now and I made sure the party were fully informed before I joined - provided I hadn’t acquired a criminal record or been involved in any demonstrations or fracases.

“I was a member of the Conservative from the age of 17 but left them because of their stance on Europe.

“At the time of my involvement with the National Front it was clear that joining Europe was proving to be the mistake I thought it would be and at the time the only political party opposing the union was the National Front.

“Since I left I haven’t taken any notice of them. The party changed and I decided to leave.”

“It is no secret and I am not one to hide under the radar.”

The news came out last week on a Hope Not Hate blog post - run by former editor of anti-fascist Searchlight magazine, Nick Lowles.

He said: “Robert Ray told us his fellow Thurrock councillors didn’t know about his far right past and believed that they wouldn’t be interested in what was now history. We aren’t so sure about that Robert.”

UKIP was criticised recently when Mr Farage, who visited Thurrock last week, was accused of being a fascist and had sung Hitler Youth songs in his teen years. Mr Farage has denied the claims.

Earlier this year, Susan Bowen had been selected to stand in the Tintagel ward in north Cornwall but was thrown out of the party when it was discovered she used to be a BNP member.

Comments (8)

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12:47pm Tue 24 Sep 13

Jack222 says...

Am I surprised that an ex National Front person is now a member of UKIP? Actually, no.
Am I surprised that an ex National Front person is now a member of UKIP? Actually, no. Jack222

1:10pm Tue 24 Sep 13

mikgrays says...

Unfortunately leopards rarely change their spots,
Unfortunately leopards rarely change their spots, mikgrays

1:48pm Tue 24 Sep 13

DannyButcher says...

People who commit heinous criminal acts serve their time and are allowed to get on with their lives. Apparently, if you were ever a member of a dubious political party, you are stuffed for life.

The whole witch-hunt is pathetic and considering that all of this happened 35+ years ago, and he isn't accused of breaking any laws, I fail to see how any of this is relevant to anything. The only people who stand to benefit from these types of cases are rival political parties, so it is of no wonder that these insidious personal attacks are on the increase.
People who commit heinous criminal acts serve their time and are allowed to get on with their lives. Apparently, if you were ever a member of a dubious political party, you are stuffed for life. The whole witch-hunt is pathetic and considering that all of this happened 35+ years ago, and he isn't accused of breaking any laws, I fail to see how any of this is relevant to anything. The only people who stand to benefit from these types of cases are rival political parties, so it is of no wonder that these insidious personal attacks are on the increase. DannyButcher

5:27pm Tue 24 Sep 13

PoorFleet says...

Margaret Burke won a seat for Labour in Milton Keynes last year and she was in the openly Nazi organisation know as the November 9th Society.

Witchhunters like Nick Lowles like to white wash the past of a fellow comrades though.
Margaret Burke won a seat for Labour in Milton Keynes last year and she was in the openly Nazi organisation know as the November 9th Society. Witchhunters like Nick Lowles like to white wash the past of a fellow comrades though. PoorFleet

10:02am Wed 25 Sep 13

OckendonPaul says...

As mass immigration accelerates towards the tipping point, and the fascist left jackboot stamps down on the indigenous people of this country, could the 'hope not hate' blog post BE more incorrectly named?
As mass immigration accelerates towards the tipping point, and the fascist left jackboot stamps down on the indigenous people of this country, could the 'hope not hate' blog post BE more incorrectly named? OckendonPaul

10:13am Wed 25 Sep 13

ebagumtrebor says...

Hope Not Hate sounds like a bunch of 10 year old school girls that have banded together in the school playground to bully someone who isn't part of the gang. They may as well call themselves We Like Fluffy Cuddly Things. Presumably Searchlight was something Mr Lowles used to inspect his own rectum. Isn't it funny how members of the Labour party can be former members of extremist groups and nobody bats an eyelid. The communist party was an organisation hell bent on international revolution. How many Labour party councillors, MP's were former members of the communist party. Stalin and Mao murdered millions of their opponents and ethnic minorities but that all appears to be ok.
Hope Not Hate sounds like a bunch of 10 year old school girls that have banded together in the school playground to bully someone who isn't part of the gang. They may as well call themselves We Like Fluffy Cuddly Things. Presumably Searchlight was something Mr Lowles used to inspect his own rectum. Isn't it funny how members of the Labour party can be former members of extremist groups and nobody bats an eyelid. The communist party was an organisation hell bent on international revolution. How many Labour party councillors, MP's were former members of the communist party. Stalin and Mao murdered millions of their opponents and ethnic minorities but that all appears to be ok. ebagumtrebor

11:13am Wed 25 Sep 13

Marcus P says...

He was former NF..so what. If he was an ex Commie no one would bat an eye lid.

The self appointed moral watch dogs like hope not hate and Searchlight are full of Communists.
He was former NF..so what. If he was an ex Commie no one would bat an eye lid. The self appointed moral watch dogs like hope not hate and Searchlight are full of Communists. Marcus P

2:09pm Wed 25 Sep 13

DannyButcher says...

Hope not hate is an ironic name for an organisation that acts like it does.
Hope not hate is an ironic name for an organisation that acts like it does. DannyButcher

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