July 31 2014 Latest news:
Sam Blewett, Reporter
Friday, May 30, 2014
The Independent Residents’ Group has increased its hold on the south of the borough by gaining two more councillors – including one who was once in the National Front.
Graham Williamson was elected in South Hornchurch. He said he left the far right organisation due to some of its members’ “racist” views.
Cllr Williamson was a member of the party, which advocates the forced repatriation of non-white immigrants, in the 80s.
“There were plenty of people who were racist but not everybody in it was racist,” he said.
“That was 25 years ago. The racism didn’t reflect my views and I couldn’t stomach them any more.”
The IRG won five seats across South Hornchurch, Elm Park, and Rainham and Wennington.
When voters went to the polls, the party had just three councillors.
The party’s leader Cllr Jeff Tucker said: “We’ve now got control of the south of the borough where we have five out of a possible nine seats.
“I take them [candidates] on their ability to be a councillor not what they were like when they were students.
“I don’t judge a person on his past but on his present.”
‘I’m not a racist’: Rainham’s Cllr Jeff Tucker distances himself from comments suggesting black and white council staff couldn’t work together
Local Elections: Independent Residents’ Group holds Rainham and Wennington
Local Elections: Havering power struggle continues