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BNP member Phillips speaks out about his politics

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BNP member Peter Phillips has broken his cover for the first time in six months, to defend his position at the time of the last RIBA presidential election.

The hugely controversial small-practitioner - who stood for president last summer - has attempted to defend himself and his membership of the far-right party on RIBA Net, the online chatroom for RIBA Members.

Phillips ran for president in June 2006 against Sunand Prasad and Valerie Owen. Despite being exposed as a BNP member early in the campaign, an event that triggered a media storm, he still won 17 per cent of the vote. Prasad was the eventual winner of the presidency.

Phillips' new comments - leaked to the AJ from a member of RIBA Net - see him attempt to defend his BNP membership.

In response to questions on the site about membership of other parties, Phillips attempted last Tuesday to compare himself to former president George Ferguson:

'Well for a start there is now very little difference between the three of them [the three main political parties] so it really is irrelevant. However, it was recently revealed that George Ferguson had been a candidate for the Liberal Democrats in a general election.

'I don't remember that being in his presidential election address, and nor should it have been unless he wanted it to be. If it had been I would still have voted for him (as I did) because his manifesto appealed to me, in particular his promise to support smaller practices.

'Sadly, in office, he did nothing of the kind. Indeed he made things worse by his signing the RIBA up to the AABC Conservation Accreditation system, unilaterally and without consulting Council. Not very democratic that, was it, for a Liberal Democrat?'

In addition, Phillips also attempts to answer criticism that he had not put his membership in the Register of Councillors' Interests:

'It [the register] was kept in the library and I kept a periodic check to see what members had declared.

'In my whole four years as a councillor I only saw two declarations. No I didn't [register the BNP membership], because, apart from those two, no one else did. But what exactly are relevant interests?'

by Ed Dorrell

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