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A charity established by former members of the British National Party to help homeless ex-soldiers has been dogged by criticism because of its links to the controversial political party.
Soldiers off the Streets (SotS) was set up by Hugh William “Bill” Murray, the BNP’s former Welsh secretary, and a handful of other senior BNP members. The charity, established in 2010, aims to provide social work in the form of clothing, food and advice to ex-servicemen.
However, anti-BNP campaigners have questioned the charity’s credentials, challenging its ability to deal with the complex problems soldiers. And homeless veterans who have been approached by SotS have also raised concern.
One rough sleeper reported that he was offered a place to stay in return for helping raise funds for the organisation. Another soldier who worked with the charity described being subjected to an online hate campaign after he expressed disapproval of SotS activities.
The charity denies these claims. Murray is adamant that he has severed all ties with the BNP and denies that ex-soldiers approached by the charity are asked to raise funds for it.
Murray said that, if the charity continues to be questioned, he will close it down. He said: “And then all the lads on the street can suffer and I’ll name everybody that made us close it down. Anybody that stops it will be attacked for it and it won’t be nothing to do with us.”