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For the 18th century amateur architect of this name, see Andrew Fountaine (architect).

Andrew Fountaine (1918-1997) was a veteran of the far right scene in British politics.

Born into a land-owning Norfolk family, Fountaine was educated at the Army College in Aldershot. After fighting for Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War, he became a naval Lieutenant-Commander during the Second World War (he previously drove an ambulance for the Abyssinians during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War[1]), serving in the Pacific before being invalided out. Fountaine then took a chemistry degree at Cambridge.

During the 1940s, Fountaine also became involved with the Conservative Party, with his speeches becoming one of the highlights of the annual party conference, notably the 1948 conference when he denounced Labour as 'semi-alien mongrels and hermaphrodite communists'.[2] He launched his political career proper in 1949 when he was chosen by the Tories as their candidate for Chorley. A speech to the Tory Party conference that same year was found to be too heavy with anti-Semitism, however; and, as a result, Party Chairman Lord Woolton disavowed his nomination.[3 ] Nonetheless, no official Conservative candidate was nominated to take his place, and, as a result, Fountaine finished only 361 votes behind the winning candidate.

Having left the Conservative Party, Fountaine launched his own group, known as the National Front Movement.[4] However, this came to nothing, and so he became a member of the League of Empire Loyalists. He would go on to follow John Bean out of this group, and was a founder member of the National Labour Party. Officially the leader of the NLP, Fountaine fulfilled this role because he presented a more respectable image than Bean, being a landowner in Norfolk. Fountaine remained a strong supporter of Bean and supported him in his later struggles with Colin Jordan in the British National Party (in which he acted as party president). It was during this time that Fountaine's land was used for 'Spearhead' drilling exercises under the supervision of Jordan and John Tyndall.[3 ]

Fountaine would go on to be a leading member of the British National Front (NF), standing as their first parliamentary election candidate in Acton in a by-election in 1968. He eventually served as deputy leader to John Tyndall, despite being expelled by Arthur Chesterton in 1968 (an action he had overturned in the High Court). In 1976, he contested the Coventry, N W by-election. In the 1979 general election, Fountaine stood as National Front candidate in the Norwich South constituency, polling a mere 264 votes (0.7%).

Fountaine split with Tyndall in 1979, and challenged him for the leadership, but was defeated and split from the NF to form his own NF Constitutional Movement, later called the Nationalist Party.[5] The new party claimed 2000 members by January 1980 and was publishing its own paper Excalibur. The new movement was to prove short-lived as Fountaine became disillusioned with the in-fighting that was coming to characterise the British right. He retired from politics in 1981 to concentrate on growing trees on his estate near Swaffham, and remained there until his death in 1997.[6]

Tony Martin, a farmer who was repeatedly robbed, and eventually convicted of murder after shooting at a gang of robbers is a nephew of Fountaine.

Elections constested

Date of election Constituency Party Votes  %
1950 Chorley Conservative 22872 46.9
25 March 1959 South West Norfolk Independent 785 2.6
28 March 1968 Acton NF 1400 5.6
4 March 1976 Coventry NW NF 986 3.1
1979 Norwich South NF 264 0.7

Note: Although Fountaine was the candidate of the local Conservative Party in 1950 his candidacy had been disavowed by the party at national level.

References

  1. ^ J. Bean, Many Shades of Black – Inside Britain’s Far Right, London: New Millennium, 1999, p. 123
  2. ^ R. Weight, Patriots: National Identity in Britain 1940-2000, London: Pan, 2003, p. 539
  3. ^ a b S. Taylor, The National Front in English Politics, London: Macmillan, 1982, p. 61
  4. ^ N. Copsey, Contemporary British Fascism: The British National Party and the Quest for Legitimacy, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, p. 15
  5. ^ N. Copsey, Contemporary British Fascism: The British National Party and the Quest for Legitimacy, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, p. 20
  6. ^ Weight, op cit







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