Logan quits BNP in 'racist' row
A COUNCILLOR has vowed to stand independently at the next election after walking away from the British National Party for being a bunch of racists . Cllr Mark Logan, who has represented Gooshays ward since winning a by-election in March 2008, said he wou
A COUNCILLOR has vowed to stand independently at the next election after walking away from the British National Party for being "a bunch of racists".
Cllr Mark Logan, who has represented Gooshays ward since winning a by-election in March 2008, said he would be "severing all links with the party and the political group of misfits" because he didn't agree with "the calibre of some people" being put forward as candidates for the forthcoming election.
He said: "There's been some really nasty rhetoric directed at coloured people.
"When I first of all moved in with the party I didn't see a racist element to start off with. But people change. I thought they were a group of patriots not racists."
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Jason Douglas, BNP Havering organiser, rejected the racist claims and said: "There are certain people in the branch who didn't see eye-to-eye.
"Mark comes from a Conservative background and a lot of his influences run contrary to what the party believes in."
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He said Cllr Logan had done "some sterling work for Gooshays" but his "presence is causing friction among other members in the branch".
In May, Cllr Logan had been due to stand in the local election for Gooshays again and as a Parliamentary candidate for Upminster in the general election. He announced he was cutting all ties with the BNP last Thursday following a series of disagreements.
The BNP argued they had pushed Cllr Logan out by deselecting him as a candidate at both levels prior to his exit from the party due to "continuous squabbles" and concern for his health, but were unable to substantiate their argument.
The last straw for Cllr Logan was with Heaton ward candidate Mick Braun who Cllr Logan branded "an out-and-out complete and utter racist" and a "loose cannon".
Cllr Logan, who has been receiving dialysis daily while waiting for a kidney transplant, highlighted a particular incident when he claimed Mr Braun made a foul personal verbal attack on him after a party meeting.
Cllr Logan said: "I am not willing to stay in a party whereupon I'm being threatened and his last tirade of verbal abuse was appalling."
When questioned about it Mr Braun said: "I can't remember what I said.
"I might remember saying Joe Hunt. It's another term; a bit of rhyming slang."
He called Cllr Logan "arrogant" and "hard to work with" and said: "My son goes out with a Turkish girl. I rent my home from a lovely woman who is a Hindu. I'm not racist at all."
Cllr Logan was also angry at the secret political handshake Mr Douglas made with Graham Williamson of the National Liberal Party to agree to remove BNP candidates from South Hornchurch to give the The National Liberal Party a better chance of election.
Cllr Logan has promised to support his constituents till the end of term before continuing his political career as an independent.
A BNP spokesman added: "Mark Logan has issued a number of highly libellous lies about the party. If any of Mr Logan's new allegations were true he would not have tried to rejoin the party so recently. It's sad Mark Logan sees fit to reveal his personal problems in such a manner but the BNP is greater than any one individual and better off without such a disruptive and unstable hanger on."
Fellow BNP member Micky Joyce announced this week he would also no longer stand for election, as he had planned to in the Heaton ward, because he didn't want to get involved with all the rows.