The BNP is hijacking patriotic British symbols and attaching itself to the Armed Forces for its own ‘dubious ends’, a group of former generals has warned.
A letter signed by General Sir Richard Dannatt and General Sir Mike Jackson, both former heads of the Army, said the party was tarnishing the forces’ reputation by associating itself with soldiers’ sacrifices.
The letter highlights fears in the top echelons of the military that the BNP is exploiting servicemen.
It says: ‘We call on all those who seek to hijack the good name of Britain’s military for their own advantage to cease and desist.
‘The values of these extremists – many of whom are essentially racist – are fundamentally at odds with the values of the modern British military, such as tolerance and fairness.’
Leader Nick Griffin hit back today, insisting the generals had no right to criticise his party’s approach.
In a reference to the Tories recruiting General Dannatt, he told Sky News that some of them were ‘in the pockets of the Conservative Party’.
He said: ‘They should stop worrying about the British National Party and what we do with the Spitfire which is an image which is nothing to do with them or modern British military.
‘My father serviced radios on Spitfires during the second world war. Why shouldn’t we use that image?
‘They should concentrate on dealing with the fact that our boys are being sent into places like Afghanistan, into struggles that are nothing at all to do with us, ill-equipped, sent there to be murdered by the British Labour government and that’s the issue they should address.’
Mr Griffin appeared before YourThurrock cameras earlier this year with the spitfire and churchill images predominant.