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English First Party
Leader Mark Cotterill, 2003–2007
Founded 2 September 2003
Ideology English nationalism,
English independence,
Official colours White and Red
Politics of the United Kingdom
Political parties

The England First Party (EFP) is a minor English nationalist political party. It had two councillors on Blackburn with Darwen council between 2006 and 2007.


Formation and policies

They were formed in 2004 by Mark Cotterill who had been the founder and chairman of American Friends of the British National Party (BNP). However, he began to disagree with the BNP politically, and so formed the EFP, after a spell in the White Nationalist Party.

The EFP differs from the BNP in its analysis of the United Kingdom. It criticises British nationalism and supports English nationalism instead. Most members of the EFP are former BNP members like their chairman, Cotterill.

The EFP campaign against the creation of regional assemblies across England. They also campaign on issues such as opposing immigration; and opposing the UK's continued membership of the European Union.

On the economy, the EFP support the gradual nationalisation of most national and public services in attempts to achieve autarky. While not aiming to abolish capitalist ownership, the EFP claim the interests of workers is paramount and subsequently support worker co-operatives. The EFP would also end the connections between trade unions and the Labour Party while encouraging trade union membership. The EFP would re-nationalise the coal mines and would re-open mines which had a "reasonable working life".

According to the accounts filed with the Electoral Commission the party had 27 full members at year-end 2004 and 85 'supporters'.[1] By the end of 2005 this had increased to 39 paid members and 97 registered supporters.[2]. For the year end 2007 the party recognised "100 supporters".[3]


In their first electoral test, a local government by-election in February 2004 for the Heysham South ward in Lancaster the EFP polled 14%. In the May 2004 local elections, the EFP contested 3 seats in Blackburn, Preston and Macclesfield, polling an average of 18% of the vote.

Two candidates contested the May 2006 local elections in Blackburn, polling an average of 37% of the vote and both were elected as councillors. In a by election in the East Rural ward of Blackburn in September 2006, they polled 13%. They also contested a by election in the Danehouse and Stoneyholme ward in Burnley in February 2007, polling 7%. Despite the party campaigning for a ban on mixed-race marriages it was revealed that one of the two elected councillors was reported to have a grandfather from Cameroon.[4]


In March 2007 the EFP's two councillors announced their intention to quit. Michael Johnson stated that he would be joining a new party created by himself and Tony Melia For Darwen, while Mark Cotterill signalled his intention to stand down as a councillor and party leader at the 3 May local elections. Johnson's move followed a rift with the party after he objected to an anti-Islamic cartoon of Jesus on YouTube, while Cotterill—who remains a leading EFP activist—has put his decision down to a work-related move to Preston.[5]

Defection to England First Party

On 1 May 2009, a former British National Party councillor, John Gamble, confirmed that he has defected to the EFP, after criticising the BNP. In the preceding months, he had become increasingly disillusioned with the BNP’s national and local leadership, this resulted in him being expelled from the BNP. He sat as an Independent for a few days and then he decided to "join a party that offers a serious, radical challenge to the corrupt political establishment".

However, on 12 March 2010, John Gamble defected to the National Front.[6]

Support to the English Democrats

In May 2009, the England First Party decided to stand a candidate in the County council elections in Lancashire but did not stand any European candidates.[7] For the European Parliament, the England First Party worked with the English Democrats and even attended and spoke at the English Democrats' conference in Darwen. Mark Cotterill has stated that both parties have their differences on race, immigration and independence but they still have one thing in common which is withdrawal from EU and putting England first.[8]


External links



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