To stand for Mayor in Liverpool, a candidate needs to either run a business in the city or own property, but an exclusive front page report by Marc Waddington in today's Liverpool Echo shows that Whitby's only business interest in Liverpool is that he rents something akin to a 'pigeon loft' located in the car park of the Cricketers pub in Wavertree:
THE British National Party candidate for Liverpool mayor Mike Whitby is only eligible to stand in the election because he rents a redundant pigeon shed in the city.
Mike Whitby, who claims to put “local people first”, is also standing for a seat on Wrexham council on May 3.
As Mr Whitby lives in North Wales he must own property or have business interests in Liverpool to stand for mayor. On his nomination papers he cites that he rents a “storage facility” at the Cricketers Club in Wavertree – the same venue city bosses unsuccessfully attempted to shut down for holding the BNP’s annual conference there in 2011.
But the ECHO has learned the facility is actually a unit where the local racing pigeon club used to meet. Deputy council leader Cllr Paul Brant said the ECHO’s investigations had brought the “murky practices” of the BNP home to roost.
The ECHO has also learned Mr Whitby is due to go before the Welsh equivalent of the Standards Board for England over a complaint he brought the local parish council he sits on into disrepute after being jailed for two weeks last year for contempt of court.
Mr Whitby had been at the hearing in Birkenhead of a Wirral man who refused to pay his council tax, when a group of far-right activists attempted to “arrest” the judge for “treason”. He was jailed for refusing to give his name and address to the court.
Under electoral rules – which anti-fascist campaigners today branded “a farce” – renting the “storage facility” makes him eligible to stand to lead the city.
A Cricketers Club source said: “It’s an old shed in the grounds that used to be used by the pigeon lads. They used to race pigeons from there. “He’s been renting it for around 12 months, maybe longer. We don’t know what they’ve got in there. They say it’s for equipment, but I don’t know what equipment they’ve got.”
Anti-fascist campaigner Alec McFadden said the government should look again at the rules on what qualifies people to stand.
According to the council, “candidates are eligible to stand if they are registered as an elector in Liverpool or have lived in the city for 12 months before their nomination or their main or only place of work for the last year has been in Liverpool or they have occupied, either as an owner or a tenant, any land or premises in the city for 12 months before nomination.”
Mr McFadden said: “It’s a farce, absolutely ridiculous, and it brings into disrepute the whole electoral system.”
Mr Whitby, who describes himself as an “independent marketing consultant”, is thought to be a key lieutenant of far right-wing leader Nick Griffin. Some far-right blogs blame him for the near-collapse of the party in Liverpool, which saw former BNP stalwart Peter “Quiggins” Tierney defect to stand for mayor on a National Front ticket.
To read more go hereThis of course not the first occasion for Whitby to appear on this blog, the first occasion was back in December 2010, when Whitby was arrested in Liverpool when a BNP street stall descended into a free for all, which is one of the matters due to be heard by the Adjudication Panel for Wales the other being the two week sentence Whitby got for contempt of court.
One just wonders what the good people of Coedpoeth will make of all this.