On Thursday 23rd May, Melanie Baddeley – an ex-BNP councillor, who also stood as parliamentary candidate for the fascists in the 2010 general election – was elected by city councillors to become Deputy Lord Mayor. She was formally nominated by City Independents group leader, Ann James, and she was elected by 22 votes to 16, with one abstention and five councillors not in attendance. It is not clear whether the abstention and absences were politically motivated decisions. See footage from the council chambers, from 0:33:30 here, to listen to councillors’ speeches about this vote, particularly at 0:54:05 where councillor Majid Khan suggests Baddeley make a public statement to demonstrate that she no longer holds disgusting racist views; Baddeley has failed to do so. Mohammad Pervez also makes a resounding speech from 1:31:22, where he describes the city’s previous efforts in ridding the BNP from our city council.
Melanie Baddeley is now set to become Lord Mayor in Spring 2020.
The Sentinel have run an article about this, in which NorSCARF have provided comment. Interestingly, the article quotes councillors who support Baddeley, claiming that she no longer holds her vile racist views. But Baddeley has never publicly denounced the BNP or apologised for the disgusting material put out in her name.
In 2008 Baddeley’s election material called to ‘Stop the Central Mosque’, calling it’s construction an ‘appeasement to the Muslim community’ and an ‘immoral and uncacceptable’ deal. The material also made the ridiculous claim that ‘Asylum seekers come here and get everything handed to them on a plate’.
Similarly, in 2011, Baddeley’s material focused solely on migrants and ethnic minorities, saying there was an ‘immigration invasion’ and that Britain is being ‘invaded by huge numbers of foreigners’. The material also attempts to convince people that the plan of ‘internationalist/multi-culturalists’ is to ‘turn Britain into a ‘Brazil’!’ and that ‘they won’t rest until our beautiful homeland is given over to the Muslims and the European Block!’. This vile narrative is continued in the rest of the material which you can see below, and there is also a link to a website run by convicted racist Michael Coleman. This website is riddled with racist bile, including this post, released a month after Baddeley’s BNP election campaign, which talks of ‘a war of annihilation being waged against us’ in relation to a mosque in Normacot.
After the last local election in 2015, the then council leader Dave Conway, pulled out of nominating Baddeley for Deputy Lord Mayor, following campaigning by NorSCARF and local people. This time around we didn’t receive sufficient notice to act before the nomination.
We are disgusted that our council thinks it’s appropriate to appoint a fascist into the highest position of civic office. We do not accept that Baddeley can be excused simply because of how she acted ‘years ago’. Baddeley has simply rebranded herself as an ‘independent’ councillor and has never apologised for her involvement in fascism. We demand that Baddeley withdraw as Deputy Lord Mayor, and we urge all ordinary people to oppose her official appearances in this position.
We will be setting up activity to ensure this scandalous decision is reconsidered. Keep an eye on our social media and website for further details. In the meantime, people should do everything they can, including writing to their councillors, writing to the media, and acting on social media, to make our voices heard. We say; NO NAZI MAYOR FOR STOKE!