doncaster’s mayor has revealed he is standing down from his political party over concerns it is being “hijacked” by extremist groups.
Peter Davies was elected to run Doncaster Council as a member of the English Democrat Party, which describes itself as a nationalist party campaigning for an English parliament.
But Mr Davies said he no longer wanted to be associated with them after claims that the “once moderate party” had become over run with members of far-right groups such as the British National Party and English Defence League.
Speaking about his decision to leave the party after an eight-year-stint he said: “I believed I was joining a moderate party calling for fairness for all nations of the British Isles.
“I have dedicated time to this party for which I had high hopes but it has been hijacked by the usual suspects.
“I have become deeply concerned about claims of ex-British National Party members joining and the party’s association with extremist groups.
“After being contacted about an event attended by leading members of the English Democrats was also attended by far-right groups like the English Defence League it was the final straw.
“I think my decision is justified.”
The mayor, who is standing for re-election in May, said he was now considering his next move but it was unlikely he would stand as an independent.
Mr Davies said he had no intentions of joining any of the main three parties but said if someone could come up with a new moderate party it may be a different ball game.
He said his decision would not affect the people of Doncaster.
“My association with the English Democrats has never played a part in my time in office, I’ve always been focused less on politics and more on common sense and I think I have been relatively successful during my time in office serving everyone in Doncaster regardless of race, creed, colour or background.
“Doncaster is a changed place since 2009 and I think people have a lot more to look forward too.
“Having been privileged to hold this office I have tried to meet the economic and social needs of the people of the town and that will continue.
“I will continue to do my best for the people of Doncaster and I am always happy for residents to come and see me about any problems or concerns they have.”
English Democrats leader Robin Tilbrook said the Doncaster mayor had “misread” the situation and his party would be fielding a candidate in Doncaster.
Mr Davies was active in UKIP in the 1990s but joined the English Democrats in 2005.
Mr Davies is a founder member of the Campaign for Real Education, an organisation dedicated to restoring high standards of learning in the state education system.
He is also a founder member of the Campaign Against Political Correctness and campaigns for the withdrawal of England from the European Union.