The British National Party is now firmly established in Norwich after cracking one of the most difficult regions in England for the party, said deputy leader Simon Darby.
In his reaction to the by-election result in that constituency which saw the BNP poll 941 votes from a standing start in a seat where there was no group or branch at the start of the campaign three weeks ago, Mr Darby said that valuable lessons had also been learned from the exercise.
We knew that the result would not be very good, but that was not why we contested the seat, Mr Darby said.
From absolutely nothing in Norwich we now have a core of activists with election experience and the basis for a branch and future growth, he said.
We were also able — despite financial limitations and the other parties pouring huge resources into the campaign — to test out a new literature via the mail delivery system and get it thoroughly debugged, which will stand us in good stead in other far more favourable areas.
Mr Darby paid tribute to Reverend Robert West, who carried the partys banner into the election. Reverend West agreed to front the campaign in spite of the huge obstacles which faced the party in Norwich, he said.
In spite of that, he proved himself capable of being up to the huge task of starting a campaign and organisation from scratch and for that the party is extremely grateful, he said.
* Mr Darby added that the fact that the Conservatives had won the seat came as no surprise and indicated that the Labour Party was heading for a severe drubbing at the next election.
We must now redouble our efforts to make sure that the electorate understand that the Tories are just the same as the Labour Party on all the fundamental issues, Mr Darby said.