Richard Edmonds (10 March 1943 – 23 December 2020) was a British politician. A former Deputy Chairman and National Organiser of the British National Party, Edmonds was a long-term supporter of John Tyndall. He was involved with the National Front, following the decline of the BNP under Nick Griffin.
He began his political career as a member of the Labour Party, before joining the National Front (NF), in which he held a number of positions during Tyndall's leadership. In the October 1974 general election he was NF candidate at Deptford, polling 1731 votes (4.5%). At this time, he was a mathematics teacher at Tulse Hill, a school which contained many black pupils. His election address said, "To young immigrants, Richard Edmonds says that they should study to the best of their abilities, for their duty and future lie in helping their compatriots to build up their own countries".
He followed Tyndall into the New National Front in 1980 and was appointed head of the youth section, editing Young Nationalist magazine.
Edmonds continued to hold influential positions within the newly-formed British National Party, rising to deputy leader and effective caretaker leader for a spell in 1986 whilst Tyndall was serving a prison sentence under the thoughtcrime laws for so-called "racial hatred". He also took a role in funding the party, notably in 1989 when he provided some of the money for the purchase of a new party headquarters/bookshop in Welling. Edmonds ran the party's Welling premises, living over the shop, for ten years, from 1989 to 1999. Edmonds' leading role in the party was further strengthened by his success in the 1992 election when his 3.6% share of the vote in Bethnal Green and Stepney represented the party's best showing of that election.
The press in the United Kingdom, particularly The Sunday Times in 1988 and on Panorama in 1991, have made much of the Edmonds publishing for a while to a revisionist publication called Holocaust News, connected to the Centre for Historical Review, which debunked propaganda accounts of World War II. Red journalists, Jon Craig and Jo Revell, made public the business details of the company Edmonds worked for, even though it had no relevance to the matter being reported. The next day Edmonds was told he would have to leave and was deprived of his livelihood. Edmonds was convicted by the courts for attempting to remove the statue of communist-terrorist Nelson Mandela on London's South Bank.
Edmonds held the position of National Organiser until 1999 when he was forced to resign following the victory of Nick Griffin in the leadership election. Edmonds remained Tyndall's closest ally but was not expelled from the party when Tyndall and another long-term ally John Morse were expelled in 2003, before being subsequently reinstated. Edmonds continued to write for Spearhead until it ceased publication on Tyndall's death in 2005. Although he sometimes attended events sponsored by the Nationalist Alliance, Edmonds remained a member of the BNP, playing a leading role in its Croydon branch (which is somewhat aloof from the national leadership).
Surprisingly to some, Edmonds was co-opted by Griffin onto the BNP's Advisory Council in September 2008, thereby returning to the upper echelon of the party, and ending his period of apparent dissidence. However, in August 2010, following Eddy Butler's unsuccessful leadership challenge, Edmonds was sacked from the Advisory Council due both to his open criticism of Griffin's fundraiser, Jim Dowson, and to his support for the leadership bid of Eddy Butler.
Following the party's poor showing in the 2011 English local elections, Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliamentary elections, Edmonds announced his candidature for the leadership of the BNP. According to The Guardian Edmonds had little chance of success but the contest was expected to lead to a series of defections from the party. At the end of May 2011 Richard Edmonds stepped down from his challenge in favour of Andrew Brons.
- N. Copsey, Contemporary British Fascism: The British National Party and the Quest for Legitimacy, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, p. 46
- N. Copsey, Contemporary British Fascism: The British National Party and the Quest for Legitimacy, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, pp. 43-44
- J. Tyndall, The Eleventh Hour, Welling, Kent: Albion Press, 1988, p. 285-86
- Searchlight, February 2007
- BNP leader Nick Griffin isolated after election disasters
- Ian Edward National Front AGM