A FORMER BNP candidate bought a cocktail of chemicals to create a large explosion that would protect him in the event of a civil war, a court has been told.

Robert Cottage, 49, a council minibus driver from Talbot Street, Colne, pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to cause an explosion.

But Cottage, a candidate for the British National Party in last year's local elections, has admitted having explosives in his possession.

At court Alistair Webster QC, defending Cottage, said that his believed the "political and financial condition of the country" would lead to civil war within the coming years.

He said his client accepted the charge on the basis that the explosives were designed to deter attacks on his property.

Louise Blackwell QC, prosecuting, said Cottage's wife had told how he wanted to shoot Prime Minister Tony Blair and local Liberal Democrat peer Lord Tony Greaves.

Quoting statements given to police by Kerena Cottage, Miss Blackwell said: "Rob believes there will be a civil war and the emergence of a new world order.

"Rob has also started stockpiling supplies."

David Jackson, a 62-year-old dentist from Trent Road, Nelson, has also gone on trial after pleading not guilty to charges of conspiracy to cause an explosion (Proceeding).