'Gay film' BNP man claims paper cost him election victory

The new British National Party leader of Barking Council blamed the Barking & Dagenham Post's revelation of him directing a "gay porn" film for him losing the general election last year.

The gay film story, broken a year ago by The Post, was picked up by the nationals last week following the local elections.

Richard Barnbrook beat the Liberal Democrats into third place with 4,916 votes when he tried to get into Parliament for the BNP last year.

But in the local elections this month, the far-right party was more successful, winning 11 seats.

The Post broke the story about Barnbrook on 4 May, 2005, a day before the general election. Barnbrook directed and produced the film, titled HMS Discovery, in 1989, which the Daily Mirror dubbed "gay porn", but which Barnbrook said was an art film.

Post news editor Wayne Tuckfield said: "Barnbrook being the main councillor in the borough where the BNP has taken over, obviously it's created new interest. With all the concerns about the BNP, I think people were looking for something to use against them and I think that's why this has come up again.

"We heard that after the general election count, he told The Guardian that it was our story that lost the election, but I don't think at that stage the BNP was ever going to beat the Labour candidate, not in the general election. I don't know about now though."

Deputy news editor Tom Bryant, who now does reporting shifts for the Daily Mail, broke the story after working on it for three months, following a tip-off that the tape existed.

He said: "Wayne gave me quite a lot of autonomy to chase the story.

I worked on it for about three months or so, trying to track down a copy of this elusive film.

"It was literally just before the actual general election when we finally got hold of a copy. Wayne and I watched it together.

"You couldn't get those minutes back to be honest. It was a diabolical film.

"As far as I'm aware, there are only a few copies of this film floating around.

"I was ringing up places in America and all around the UK, trying to get hold of it. We couldn't run a story on the basis that his name was on a film website — we had to actually get a copy of the video to have any chance of running the story."

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