Tory council candidate explains ‘Rivers of Blood’ blog post

Edward Wilson, Conservative candidate for East Brighton (Photograph: Anna Felicia Photography)
Edward Wilson, Conservative candidate for East Brighton (Photograph: Anna Felicia Photography)

A Conservative candidate said he does not agree with the views of Enoch Powell after a blog post he wrote on the controversial ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech was revealed.

Edward Wilson, 21, a student at the University of Sussex, said he had written the now deleted blog post for the university’s ‘Liberate the Debate’ society.

A screenshot of the blog post by Edward Wilson

A screenshot of the blog post by Edward Wilson

The article, published under Mr Wilson’s name on March 22, 2017, was entitled ‘In the Defence of Enoch Powell – Why he was right on immigration’.

It said: “The original Rivers of Blood speech was one of controversy, but, it is clear that the threat Enoch warned us about, has become a nightmare we’re currently living in. Britain has been gradually deteriorating through the sheer volume of immigrants over recent years. What started as a river has now turned into a flood. Like all floods it has left economic ruin in its wake and failures of integration have forced upon Britain a watering down of culture, tradition and language that has made many parts of the country unrecognizable.”

A screenshot of the post and a copy of the text was sent to the Brighton & Hove Independent yesterday (January 17).

When asked about the blog post, Mr Wilson said: “First and foremost, I did write this piece. I am studying politics at The University of Sussex and, in an organised deliberately provocative academic setting, we were all exploring aspects of difficult and far reaching subjects.

“Therefore, to encourage debate within the free speech society, I wrote a piece on Enoch Powell’s vile ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech. As you will know this is a speech which caused great controversy and upset. I do not and never have supported the views of Enoch Powell. I simply believed at the time this would be a way to encourage debate on the topic of immigration, as this is a highly-charged topic throughout the nation.

“The content within the article, I must stress, is not of views that I support. This piece was deleted as I feared that if taken out of context it could perpetuate ideas which are not right. I personally would be mortified if anyone were offended by this, on reading it out of the intended context. As I said the speech in question was full of hatred, and does not and never has represented my personal views.”

Mr Wilson is standing for the Conservative Party in the East Brighton by-election for Brighton and Hove City Council, which takes place on Thursday, February 8.