It's very seldom that the political allegiance of a parish councillor becomes the subject of a media story but this has happened at the village of Kingswear just across the river from Dartmouth in south Devon. Peter Pirnie, who is a member of the far-right British National Party, has been co-opted on to the parish council along with two other people who are not members of the BNP.
What is causing consternation seems to be that one moment Mr Pirnie is stating that he is an independent and then suggesting he is a councillor for the BNP; certainly the BNP website had been boasting that they now have a second councillor in the south west, but that item appeared to have been removed when I looked just now.
Two major points to consider here I feel. Firstly it is a nonsense to suggest that a BNP member has been elected as he has clearly been co-opted, in other words it was the council itself who agreed that he could join them. Secondly I get annoyed when party politics get in the way of the lower levels of local government. There might just possibly be reason for a county councillor to stand on a party ticket, little if any reason why party politics should feature in the affairs of district councils whilst at parish level there is zero reason for councillors to display a political label. When they are objecting to the position of a street light or trying to get extra equipment for a children's play area then you have to ask why on earth political considerations would ever come into their deliberations.
I don't really know Mr Pirnie's motivations. Perhaps he has just wanted to generate publicity for the BNP, better if he had never mentioned his party I think.