RIBA presidential candidate admits to being a BNP member
Peter Phillips has admitted that he is a member of the British National Party. The RIBA presidential candidate made a statement confirming he has been a member of the ultra right-wing fascist party for five years, and has even stood as a BNP candidate in elections.
Commenting on the announcement, RIBA president, Jack Pringle said: "To find out a member of RIBA Council has been a member of a legal but extremist party is really worrying." He added that although he was shocked by the news, he wasn't necessarily surprised.
Phillips had already caused a stir in the presidential race by suggesting that pressure groups should not have special access to or be funded by the RIBA.
RIBA candidate, Sunand Prasad said: "They (BNP) say they are not racist but it's a party based on racial purity and racial separateness, and their views are entirely abhorrent to the majority of people who want a better world."
On the basis that the BNP is a legal party, both RIBA members admitted despite their personal views, it wouldn't be right to ask Phillips to stand down.
Pringle explained: "It's good that he has come clean and there is no question of him being disqualified from running. But it's important the electorate understand the context in which his views are held."
Society of Black Architects chairman, Chris Nasah said: "I call on people not to vote for him. Obviously people have a right to their own political opinions, but we need someone who can build bridges between communities and not someone who wants to break them down."
Phillips will shortly be issuing a statement on his website with more details.