BNP London Assembly Member Richard Barnbrook has been suspended from Barking and Dagenham Council for one month, a joint Standards Committee decided today.
The investigation into Barnbrook began last year after he broadcast a series of false claims about murders in his borough.
In the video, shown again at the Hearing today, Barnbrook claimed that:
"This year alone, up until now there has been 27 murders of youths between 13 and 17 by knife crimes with several thousand more being attacked by knives."In Barking and Dagenham alone three weeks ago there was a murder of a young girl, we don't know who's done it, her girlfriend was attacked inside an Educational institute."Again two weeks ago there was another attack by knives on the streets of Barking and Dagenham and two people were murdered."
Metropolitan Police Inspector Hugh Boyle confirmed today that no such incidents had taken place.
Despite being told that the claims were false, Barnbrook kept the video on his Telegraph blog for at least four months.
When questioned by investigating officers earlier this year, he admitted that he knew the claims to be false at the time.
He has since sought to retract this admission.
The complainant Councillor Val Rush told the Hearing that Barnbrook had deliberately tried to stir up fear within the borough.
In his defence Mr. Barnbrook claimed that dyslexia and "ambient noise" during filming had led him to confuse his account.
Barnbrook apologised for posting the video, but said that he "would never apologise for bringing the plight of knife crime to public attention"
The committee decided that Barnbrook had "knowingly made false statements" and brought both Barking and Dagenham Council and the Greater London Authority into disrepute.
The following sanctions will now be imposed:
Greater London Authority
- Formal Censure
- Requirement to apologise on the GLA website and on his personal blog
- submit to training on ethics and standards in public lifeBarking and Dagenham
- Suspension for one calendar month without pay
- Requirement to apologise
- Failure to apologise leading to indefinite suspension
There were noisy scenes at City Hall today as campaigners clashed with BNP supporters outside the chamber
In the normally quiet basement cafe, members of Unite Against Fascism led a series of chants against Mr Barnbrook's supporters.
Barnbrook's supporters in turn shouted "evil woman" at Councillor Rush as she left the chamber.
Richard Barnbrook now plans to take the case to appeal.