A NEWLY elected labour councillor who was once second in command of a notorious neo Nazi group has described herself as a “brainwashed idiot”.
Margaret Burke, who won the seat for Bradville last week, was a far right extremist and Hitler devotee when she and her then husband Terry Flynn ran the Milton Keynes November 9th Society during the early 1980s.
They both wore Nazi-style uniforms and recruited gangs of local youths to hand out racist leaflets and daub buildings with swastikas.
Ironically, one of their frequent targets was the Labour Hall in New Bradwell.
When the marriage broke up Margaret switched her passion to animals and joined the controversial Animal Liberation Front, but her exploits landed her in Holloway prison after she vandalised a butcher’s shop.
Today she is nothing but repentant.
“All this was 30 years ago and in those days I was a brainwashed idiot,” she told the Citizen.
“I should have known better and I have regretted it my whole life. Working for the community now is my way of making up for what I did.”
Margaret’s remorse impressed the candidate selection group of city Labour party members, who admitted they thought long and hard before selecting her.
Party leader Kevin Wilson said: “We were aware of Margaret’s past and we questioned her at length. We had no doubt at all that her misdemeanours of 20 or 30 years ago were serious matters but I do not believe that somebody should be punished or penalised for what they did such a long time ago.
“Since then Margaret has been exemplary in her role. It would be wholly, wholly wrong of us to deny her the possibility of being a candidate. She was a good candidate and we have no doubt she will be a good councillor.”
After her time in prison and a brief spell as a hunt saboteur Margaret opened her own wildlife hospital called The Ark at her Bradville home.
She has also served on the parish council and resident’s association to help the community,
“I have paid for what I have done and I will continue to pay back society,” she said.
But one of her ward members, former councillor Danny Waite, finds it hard to forgive and forget.
The first black councillor to be elected in Milton Keynes, he was the subject of a racist rant from Margaret and Kommandant Terry in the early 80s.
“I refused to vote for her. It was the only time in my adult life that I haven’t voted,” he told the Citizen.