National Liberal Party (UK, 1999)

The National Liberal Party is a far right[1] political party formed in the United Kingdom in 1999 founded with several former National Front activists as its most prominent members.[2] Graham Williamson is listed as Nominating Officer and Upkar Singh Rai is listed as Leader and Treasurer. It has a number of ballot paper descriptions authorised by the Electoral Commission including: 'National Liberal Party - The Radical Centre' and 'National Liberal Party - Liberty, Independence, Democracy'.[3] The group sporadically contested elections until emerging more prominently in the run-up to the 2014 European Parliament election, where it fielded an eight-strong list for the London constituency and failed to meet the threshold of votes for its first list-candidate to be elected.[4]

National Liberal Party
FoundedMarch 1999
IdeologyDecentralisation
Euroscepticism
Direct democracy
Anti-capitalism
Political positionFar-right[1]
Colours    
Website
http://nationalliberal.org/

BackgroundEdit

The National Liberal Party was founded by Graham Williamson and Patrick Harrington.[2] It appeals for ethnic minority votes by focusing on national struggles abroad, with particular emphasis on injustices in Sri Lanka and India.

The party ran in the 2010 general election, contesting the Eastleigh seat. Its candidate, Keith Lowe, ran a campaign attacking the sitting MP Chris Huhne for his failure to support a referendum for the public to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon.[5] During the election, the presence of several former National Front (NF) members in prominent positions was raised in the local press, although the general secretary, David Durant – himself a former NF member – claimed that the party belonged to the "patriotic centre".[5]

Despite the far-right and fascist backgrounds of its leaders,[2] the party fielded eight candidates for the 2014 European Parliament election in London, on a multicultural election list including Tamil, Sikh and Kurdish candidates. The party manifesto gave no indication of its far-right origins. It said, "The National Liberal Party is putting forward a team of 8 ethnically and racially diverse candidates – Tamil, Sikh, Azerbaijan, Kurdish, English, north Borneo (Sabah-Sarawak), to represent the real grassroots London."[2] One of the group's candidates, Yussuf Anwar, appeared on BBC's Daily Politics and declared himself proud of Graham Williamson, arguing that his NF membership was a youthful mistake.[6]

In 2019, the party published a policy that it says will "make the UK a center of legitimate cryptocurrency finance and not the center for crypto crimes that it is today".[7]

Criticism from the extreme rightEdit

Following revelations about the party's origins by Channel 4, the NLP was pilloried in Heritage and Destiny, a longstanding periodical closely linked to several groups including the nationalist, frequently neo-fascist and anti-Semitic International Third Position. The article focused on the party's website which named its political progenitors as the Earl of Rosebery, Joseph Chamberlain and Leslie Hore-Belisha and criticised the establishment Jewish links of all except Chamberlain as well as the perceived lack of ideological connection between the three and even the poor spelling of their names.[8]

Ideology and principlesEdit

The statement of principles of the National Liberals says that the party believes that

"the personal liberty of a nation’s citizens is vital and that this freedom is best preserved within the framework of a democratic nation-state. A National Liberal will, therefore, support measures protecting and promoting personal liberty, greater democracy, and national independence." [9]

The party states they

"have a clear idea of the principles that underpin a healthy society. We use these principles in guiding us in determining policy:


Protect the political and civic freedoms of the individual
Promote Direct Democracy, including greater use of referenda
Support the decentralisation of power to the lowest practical level(s) i.e. ‘subsidiarity’
Support the widespread ownership of property, both business and personal
Support for the ‘Third’ economic sector i.e. the Independent Small Trader, Self-Employed and Co-operatives
Preservation of the nation-state
Support the right of all nations to become one i.e. self-determination.
Recognising the importance of the Family, Community, and Nation as building blocks that construct a healthy and stable society whilst accepting those who choose a different lifestyle or outlook
Support measures to keep the land and environment ‘Green and Pleasant’."[10]

Elections contestedEdit

Parliamentary electionsEdit

General election, 6 May 2010

Constituency Candidate Votes %
Eastleigh Keith Low 93 0.2[11]

General election, 7 May 2015

Constituency Candidate Votes %
Ealing, Southall Jagdeesh Singh 461 1.1[12]
Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner Sockalingam Yogalingam 166 0.3[13]

European Parliament electionsEdit

2014 European elections

Regional lists Candidates Votes % MEPs
London Graham Williamson
Jagdeesh Singh
Sockalingham Yogalingam
Doris Jones
Upkar Singh Rai
Yussef Anwar
Araz Yurdseven
Bernard Dube
6,736 0.3 0[14]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Jessica Elgot, "British National Party Decline Show Far Right Is In A Very, Very Bad Way", Huffpost, 14 January 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Brian Whelan, "Exposed: far-right veteran seeking London multicultural vote", Channel 4 News, 3 May 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2019. Also posted in Searchlight, 3 May 2014
  3. ^ http://search.electoralcommission.org.uk/English/Registrations/PP32
  4. ^ Regional Returning Officer for London, Statement of parties and individual candidates nominated and Notice of Poll Archived 13 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine, published 28 April 2014
  5. ^ a b "Ex National Front men 'target' Chris Huhne", Eastleigh News
  6. ^ "Dr Yussuf Anwar on National Liberal Party policies", BBC News, 21 May 2014
  7. ^ Marie Huillet, "Controversial UK Party Becomes Nation’s First to Reveal Crypto Policy", Coin Telegram, 27 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Media smear merchants find new target". Heritage and Destiny.
  9. ^ http://nationalliberal.org/statement-of-principles
  10. ^ http://nationalliberal.org/statement-of-principles
  11. ^ Election 2010 - Eastleigh, BBC News
  12. ^ Election 2015 - Ealing Southall, BBC News. Accessed 12 May 2015.
  13. ^ Election 2015 - Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner, BBC News. Accessed 12 May 2015.
  14. ^ Vote 2014 - London, BBC News,