Thursday, 2 July 2009

Who is the BNP's candidate for Norwich North, the mysterious 'Reverend' West?

Jonathan Bartley, co-director of of the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia writes:

It's high time (West) disclosed exactly where he gets his "Rev" title from.

I confronted him on BBC 1's The Big Questions 10 days ago, but he was unforthcoming.

He first came to our attention when he set up the BNP front organisation "The Christian Council of Britain" in 2006. We reported it here. When I asked him on the Big Questions how many members it has he avoided the question.

I suspect it has a membership of one (himself).

There is no church to our knowledge in the UK that doesn't condemn the racist party. It was suggested by The Times a while ago that he might belong to the Apostlic Church. However, the Apostolic Church expressed no knowledge of West.

A spokesperson for the church said; "If this person has had any association with The Apostolic Church in the past the only means by which he can maintain either his membership or office is by attending one of our churches. If he were an active member of the Church his views would not be accepted by the Church and disciplinary action would be undertaken by the Church which strongly distances itself from views such as these."

Will any church come forward to claim him? Or is this another example of BNP deception? Is his "Rev" status somehow derived from the Christian Council of Britain? And if so, who ordained him if it only has a membership of one?

From Ekklesia, a think-tank that promotes transformative theological ideas in public life

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