Caught in the eye of a right political storm

Gregory Lauder-Frost sat with Jacob Rees-Mogg  at the Traditional Britain Group dinner
Gregory Lauder-Frost sat with Jacob Rees-Mogg at the Traditional Britain Group dinner

The political views of Foulden, Lamberton Mordington Community Council chairman, Gregory Lauder-Frost made national headlines last week.

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg was forced into making an apology for accepting an invitation to speak at the annual dinner of the Traditional Britain Group, of which Mr Lauder-Frost is vice-president.

Mr Rees-Mogg has since admitted he did not make a proper check of the organisation’s beliefs before taking up its invitation and told the BBC: “I clearly made a mistake.”

It is the Traditional Britain Group’s views on the recent announcement that the mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence had been given a peerage that caused such offence to some people.

And Mr Lauder-Frost, who is also a member of Berwickshire Civic Society, fuelled the row when speaking to BBC 2’s Newsnight on Thursday evening followed by BBC London’s Vanessa Feltz show the following day. He described Mrs Lawrence’s peerage as “a further debasement of the House of Lords, adding: “We do not feel there is any merit in raising such a person to the peerage. She’s a complete nobody. She has been raised there for politically correct purposes. She’s just a campaigner about her son’s murder.

“It’s ridiculous. She has made countless anti-English comments over the last 10 years. She’s no friend of the English people.”

On realising the stance taken by the group he had associated himself with Mr Rees-Mogg said; “Mrs Lawrence is a wonderful and courageous woman who has contributed to British public life and, in any traditional view of Conservatism, she should be lauded for what she has done.”

But the Traditional Britain Group were unrepentant, an entry on their Facebook page says of his interview: “Gregory Lauder-Frost cool as ice again on the Vanessa Feltz show.”

After a turbulent few days, when he and his group have been asked to explain the ethos of the Traditional Britain Group, Mr Lauder-Frost wrote on his Facebook page earlier this week: “Stand up for what you believe in, even when it appears you are standing alone. You’re not.”

And the Traditional Britain Group responded to the row in a blog on their website: “The TBG has no “links” with any far-right organisations.

“We believe that exiting the EU and halting immigration are crucial to the survival of the British nation. One appreciates this upsets the liberal-left but we should be permitted to entertain our own opinions on these matters just as they are, without being smeared as “far-right”.

“We are naturally disappointed that Mr Rees-Mogg has been frightened by these media smears and forced to disassociate himself from perfectly normal conservatives.”