A town is to become the first in the country to have a mayor from the far-right BNP, in a move branded divisive and worrying by campaigners. John Cave was chosen by an overwhelming vote to take over the chains of office as next year’s mayor of Padiham, near Burnley.
With a population of around 10,000, Padiham’s town council only has limited powers, and elected members do not stand on party political grounds. However, the next mayor is a long-term BNP activist in nearby Burnley and his wife, Sharon Wilkinson – expected to be his mayoress – became the party’s first county councillor, representing the town, in 2009.
He contributed a clip of former Labour minister Shahid Malik speaking about British aid being given to Muslim countries to a website under the heading “The threat of Islam”. Mr Cave also wrote a letter to a local newspaper last year demanding that Britain’s political and religious leaders “admit their multicultural folly” and direct their efforts to benefit the majority.