A senior British National Party activist – who has previously expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler – is standing for parliament in Sheffield.
Mark Collett, aged 29, was selected by the far-right party to stand against Labour MP David Blunkett in Brightside and Hillsborough, along with three others who will contest Attercliffe, Heeley, and Penistone and Stocksbridge.
Grammar-school educated Mr Collett is the most senior of the four, as BNP director of publicity and a former chairman of the party’s youth wing. His views – which include stating Hitler would ‘live for ever’ – were today condemned by Sheffield politicians from all three mainstream parties.
Former Home Secretary Mr Blunkett said: “The announcement of this fascist’s candidature on Holocaust Memorial Day is demonstration enough, if it were ever needed, of the obnoxious, deeply offensive and dangerous character of these people – who are not only in denial but are seeking to inflict their poison on the people of Sheffield.
“We will be revealing over the next three months the appalling and outrageous views of this individual, much of which is an insult to those who have given their lives in defending this country and who find his views on Hitler abhorrent. In this election, in the new, expanded constituency, every vote really will count.”
Mr Collett – who took 1,200 votes in Leeds Central at the last election – told The Star: “I’m coming to Sheffield because the BNP is the only viable option in Brightside and Hillsborough. Sheffield people don’t want the Tories, and we are the only alternative to Labour in many parts of the city.”
Mr Collett’s views were exposed in Channel 4 documentary Young, Nazi And Proud in 2002, when he was secretly filmed saying “Hitler will live forever” and said of British black people: “Just because a dog is brought up in a stable doesn’t make it a horse.”
Millions of people watched the recording of him saying: “I honestly can’t understand how a man who has seen the inner-city hell of Britain today can’t look back on that era of Hitler’s Germany with a certain nostalgia and think, ‘yeah, those people marching through the streets and all those happy people in the streets, saluting and everything, was a bad thing’.”