Luke Smith, BNP councillor for Lanehead ward in Burnley, was convicted of using threatening words and behaviour outside a Burnley pub. His offence took place on the day the Burnley Clarets lost 2-0 to Manchester United in the Worthington Cup – December 3rd 2002.
Smith is reported to have pleaded guilty and was fined. A lifetime ban was imposed by Burnley football club at their Turf Moor football ground.
Smith failed to reveal his criminal past during his Burnley election campaign in May 2003.
Photo: BNP Councillor Luke Smith
This is Lancashire: Councillor banned from Turf Moor matches
Burnley Soccer Firm – Burnley Suicide Squad
Smith is not alone in maintaining a lifestyle of public disorder and BNP activism. Another local hooligan, a member of Burnley’s soccer hooligan firm, the Burnley Suicide Squad, has recently been convicted of the killing of a 17 year old Nottingham Forest fan, Nathan Shaw.
Barely a week after Smith’s offence, the killing took place outside the Yates Wine Lodge pub in Burnley. 19-year-old Andrew McNee and other Squad members were abusive to Nathan and his friends who were drinking inside. They left the pub and were followed by McNee who struck Nathan on the back of the head with a broken glass – a blow that lead to his death.
McNee was similarly subject to a lifelong ban by Burnley FC.
Rossendale Free Press: Football hooligan is jailed for fan death
The Suicide Squad, along with the BNP and other far right groups, were prominent in causing Burnley’s race riots in 2002. They also made a bid to rampage through Asian areas of their home town following an England World Cup game in the summer of 2002.
Searchlight: Racism in football
Burnley BNP Councillors Condone Soccer Violence
In January 2003, Burnley BNP continued with a policy of condoning the behaviour of violent local activists, when their three local councillors failed to vote in favour of a motion of support for Burnley Football Club’s policy of life-long bans for football hooligans.
This is Lancashire: BNP man defends racist soccer chants
BBC: BNP abstain in anti-racism vote
Elsewhere in the UK, soccer hooligans play an important role in BNP local campaigns, providing a useful supply of violent street activists.
Oldham people suffered racist violence from soccer thugs during their troubles in May 2001. Football hooligans “The Fine Young Casuals” from Oldham itself and then supporters from Stoke were drawn to these events and played a major part.
Searchlight: Hooligans United in racism
Burnley BNP Electoral Fraud
Burnley is a flagship local council for the BNP, who’s local organiser, Steve Smith (Luke Smith’s uncle), is a convicted electoral fraudster. The fraud was perpetrated in Burnley during the May elections in 2001, and involved six BNP council candidates. A number of local people denied having signed BNP candidate’s nomination papers and the candidates were then excluded. Steve Smith was later sent to prison for three months for his involvement in the fraud.
Photo: BNP Burnley Organiser Steve Smith
Despite examples of their own criminal behaviour, the BNP in Burnley stress law and order issues. A leaflet states “Crime is out of control – Time for zero tolerance” and Luke Smith’s May election leaflet demands action against ‘anti-social elements on housing estates’.
The BNP electoral platform is also strongly anti-Moslem. Whipping up fears against aslyum seekers, their message encourages street thugs to prey on the vulnerability of local refugees and is blamed for an increase in local racially motivated attacks.
Burnley FC Continue fight against soccer thugs
Burnley Football club continues to step down hard on hooligan elements at football matches.
Blitz on soccer ground thugs
Related news and facts:
BBC: Lib Dems beat BNP in Burnley
- The Burnley Asian community numbers just under 5,000 in a town of 90,000.
- BNP national organiser, Tony Lecomber, is a convicted bomber.
- Luke Smith lives at 124 Brunshaw Road, Burnley, BB10 4BY
- BNP in Burnley: ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’
Councillor banned from Turf Moor matches