2018 Local elections
Voting in this year's local elections takes place on May 3rd, across Tyne and Wear. On the positive side, there is a marked reduction in the number of far-right candidates compared to recent years.
The not long registered For Britain Movement has a candidate in Sunderland. The second FBM candidate is in Hartlepool.
FBM was set up by Anne Marie Waters, runner up in last year's UKIP leadership election. FBM is obsessed with Islam. Neither of its two candidates are expected to do well.
Gateshead has been visited by another recently registered party, The Democrats and Veterans Party. A cursory glance at its website suggests another unhealthy focus on Islam.
Back in Sunderland, the Populist Party - no, I'd never heard of them either - is fielding a candidate in the city, Tony Morrow. It comes to pass that Mr Morrow is well connected with fascists from a variety of backgrounds.
The biggest difference, however, is in the dearth of UKIP candidates in the North East. The party hit the headlines thanks to one of its Newcastle prospects, Kim Kimberley-Blackstar, who described Islam as a "barbaric satanic cult" on a Facebook posting.
To read more see here www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-43718014
Any respectable party would distance itself from a candidate like Mr Blackstar. However, UKIP has downplayed the incident, saying the postings were "historic". Surely this is a reflection of the party's weakness and need to accept candidates of Mr Blackstar's type.
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