Loyalist flag protest man Jim Dowson revealed as real leader of far-right organisation Britain First
Published 20/06/2014 | 02:30
One of the organisers of loyalist flag protests in Belfast has been revealed as the real leader of far-right group Britain First.
According to the anti-fascist Hope Not Hate campaign group, Jim Dowson, who is originally from Scotland but now living in Northern Ireland, is "bankrolling" the hardline organisation publicly fronted by ex-BNP councillor Paul Golding.
Hope Not Hate makes a number of claims about Britain First, adding it has "deep and worrying links to loyalism and Protestant extremism in Northern Ireland".
A statement from Britain First rubbishes the Hope Not Hate report, saying it has "literally dozens of inaccuracies, distortions and outright lies", but also threatened journalists who report on it.
Dowson, who is facing charges relating to the Belfast City Hall flag protests, helped to launch the Protestant Coalition, which has links to Britain First.
He is also an ex-Calvinist minister, an anti-abortionist and the man who set up the BNP call centre in Northern Ireland.
Last night Channel 4 News aired a report (below) on Britain First referring to Dowson, of marketing company Midas Consultancy, as one of Britain First's "backroom people" who remains constant throughout its activities.
Dowson, who was previously in charge of BNP finances, said: "You're got to remember, most political parties don't know their a**e from their elbow.
"You bring in a professional marketing team, you know I trained in America with the pro-lifers and all that.
"If you apply professional marketing techniques and fundraising to a political situation it's a gift.
"It's a gift and that is what we did with the BNP. Raised them four million quid and left them to it.
"I was never in the BNP but we did do work for them, just to make them successful enough to push everybody over to the right, and I think that has resulted now in the success that Ukip is enjoying.
"And far better Ukip to be enjoying it than the BNP, to be honest with you, but at least everybody is over to the right a couple of notches."