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British National Party

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Template:Infobox British Political Party

The British National Party (BNP) is the largest political party of the far-right in the United Kingdom.

Contents

History and overview

The modern BNP was founded in 1982 by John Tyndall, a former chairman of the National Front and a public follower of Nazi ideals. The current National Chairman, Nick Griffin, joined the BNP in 1995, and replaced Tyndall after a leadership election in 1999. He was also a previous chairman of the National Front and spent time as an activist whilst reading law at Downing College, University of Cambridge.

Tyndall was expelled from the BNP in 2003. The reasons for this mainly related to articles published in his magazine, Spearhead, which were highly critical of the BNP leadership. It was also believed that his often 'extremist' views did not tally with contemporary party policies. However, Tyndall was readmitted to the party in December 2003, after an out of court settlement with Nick Griffin. In 2005, he was expelled again.

In 1998, before he was chairman of the BNP, Griffin was convicted of violating section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986, relating to incitement to racial hatred. He received a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was fined £2,300. In 2005, he was charged with four further charges of incitement to commit racial hatred, subsequent to secret filming of BNP meetings for a BBC documentary.

In recent years the BNP has reflected many aspects of a concept known as Euronationalism. This is a pattern of emphasis and presentation of policies that has been adopted by a number of far-right parties in Europe. It is often cited as a factor in their increased electoral successes of the 1990s.

Policies

According to the BNP's website, the party's policies include:

  • The repatriation of all illegal immigrants.
  • The introduction of a system of voluntary, financially-aided repatriation for existing, legally-settled immigrants.
  • The abolition of reverse discrimination.
  • Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and the pursuit of protectionist economic measures.
  • The restoration of corporal punishment for "petty criminals and vandals" and the restoration of capital punishment for "paedophiles, terrorists and murderers".
  • The reintroduction of national service and the requirement of people completing national service to maintain an assault rifle in their home

Other policies include the promotion of organic farming, increasing defence spending and ending British foreign aid, also reducing unemployment benefits and disability benefits.

In a recent speech he gave in the United States, Griffin criticised the IRA and Sinn Féin for intimidating and organising attacks against racists in Ireland.

Missing image
BNP_Sun_headline.jpg
A front page from The Sun newspaper lambasting the BNP.

Allegations of racism

In October 1990, the British National Party was described by the European Parliament's committee on racism and xenophobia as an "openly Nazi party... whose leadership have serious criminal convictions". When asked if the BNP was racist, Richard Edmonds, deputy leader of the BNP, said, "We are 100 per cent racist, yes".

More recently the Party has stated often that their desire is to preserve the British race, and not to interfere with others. Its constitution states that all members must be of "British or closely kindred native European stock." The party is opposed to mixed race relationships on the stated ground that ethnic differences must be preserved; it argues that when a white person produces a mixed race child "a white family line that stretches back into deep pre-history is destroyed." On the other hand, it has also stated many times that it strongly opposes any unfair discrimination on the grounds of race.

Nick Griffin has stated his views on race [1] (http://www.bnp.org.uk/articles/race_reality.htm):

"... while the BNP is not racist, it must not become multi-racist either. Our fundamental determination to secure a future for white children is restated, and an area of uncertainty is addressed and a position which is both principled and politically realistic is firmly established. We don't hate anyone, especially the mixed race children who are the most tragic victims of enforced multi-racism, but that does not mean that we accept miscegenation as moral or normal. We do not and we never will".

Since Nick Griffin took over leadership of the party, the BNP has publicly attempted to move away from the violent image it attained during the Tyndall years, that were often seen as racist and thuggish, and has invoked many policy changes in order to present itself as a more moderate, mainstream and respectable right-wing party.

An example of this is the party's stance on repatriation: under Tyndall's leadership, the party campaigned for the compulsory repatriation of all foreigners. However, since Griffin's election to national chairmanship, this policy has been greatly moderated to the far less hard-line suggestion that those foreigners who wish to return to their own countries should be assisted in doing so by the provision of what the BNP describes as "generous homeward-bound grants". The BNP claims that a policy of voluntary repatriation of foreigners already exists under the 1971 Immigration Act, which they would use to enact their policy.

Despite the changes made by Griffin, there remain a number of prominent BNP members with openly racist and/or violent histories. However, the BNP states that many questionable characters have been expelled from the party and it publicly condemns both violence and racism.

The BNP's anti-racist credentials were publicly questioned on July 15 2004, when a BBC documentary sought to expose what it claimed to be 'racist elements' in the party. Documentary-maker Jason Gwynne went undercover and joined the BNP for six months. His secret filming recorded party leader Nick Griffin calling Islam a "wicked, vicious faith"; party member Steve Barkham confessing to assaulting an Asian man in the 2001 Bradford Riots; and party member Stewart Williams stating that he wanted to "blow up" Bradford's mosques with a rocket launcher and council candidate Dave Midgley confessing to pushing dog faeces through the letterbox of an Asian takeaway. In his speech, Griffin stated that "For saying that, I tell you, I will get seven years if I said that outside", apparently referring to the maximum sentence for the criminal offence of incitement to racial hatred. In the aftermath, the party said that Barkham and Midgley (but not Williams) had been expelled. Mr. Griffin did not apologise for his own comments, stating that "it's still not illegal to criticise Islam". The party has responded to the documentary describing it as involving "the loudest and most hot-headed BNP activists [who] were deliberately plied with drink and subject to suggestive provocation by Jason Gwynne" [2] (http://www.bnp.org.uk/news/2004_sept/news_sept7.htm) and has filed complaints with the police against Mr. Gwynne's attempted incitement of some of its members to violence in an attempt to gain material for his documentary. The outcome of these complaints is not yet known.

On July 16, 2004, Barclays Bank froze the bank accounts of the BNP, apparently as a result of the BBC documentary. Nick Griffin is reported to have said "If we can, we will take them [Barclays] to the cleaners. We don't want to take them to the cleaners, all we want is the democratic right to access back accounts." [3] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3901621.stm)

In December 2004, the British tabloid press reported that a BNP member had hired a black DJ by telephone for the BNP Christmas party without knowing that he was black, resulting in some members leaving and others refusing to make their speeches. The DJ had not known that he was going to work for the BNP until he arrived at the event. [4] (http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/allnews/tm_objectid=14947491%26method=full%26siteid=50143%26headline=bn%2dpathetic-name_page.html) [5] (http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2004562385,00.html) [6] (http://www.dehavilland.co.uk/webhost.asp?wci=default&wcp=NationalNewsStoryPage&ItemID=6101608&ServiceID=8&filterid=10&searchid=8) The BNP denies that any of its members left "in protest" at this and commended the professionalism of the DJ in an article on its website [7] (http://www.bnp.org.uk/news_detail.php?newsId=62).

Allegations of neo-Nazism

Some opponents of the party, as well as journalists in two newspapers, the tabloid Daily Express and the left wing broadsheet The Guardian, have claimed often that the BNP is not only racist, but an explicitly fascist or neo-Nazi organization despite the democratic nature of internal BNP elections in contrast to more mainstream parties. The leader of the Conservative Party, Michael Howard, in a political speech in the BNP-heartland area of Burnley, criticised the group, claiming that it was 'a bunch of thugs dressed up as a political party.'

When Tyndall was still chairman, the BNP's 1995 national rally was addressed by American neo-Nazi Dr. William Pierce.

Nick Griffin has appeared on the same platform as David Duke, former leader of the Ku Klux Klan and a former member of the Louisiana state legislature.

The openly violent neo-Nazi group Combat 18 was formed in 1992 (although not originally under this name), to act as stewards for BNP rallies, which were often physically assaulted by left-wing groups, such as Anti-Fascist Action. According to the BNP, all associations with Combat 18 were ended shortly after the latter were formed, John Tyndall telling BNP members that they could not be members of both organisations simultaneously. Searchlight magazine, Red Action and other commentators on both the left and right spectrums of the media have alleged that Combat 18 was the brainchild of the British secret service organisation MI5, being designed to discredit the BNP whilst simultaneously acting as a 'honey-trap' to attract the most violent neo-Nazis in Britain into a single organisation where they could be monitored. It is also believed that Combat 18 were used by MI5 to infiltrate Loyalist paramilitary groups in Northern Ireland. In 1998, the leader of Combat 18, Charlie Sargent, a Special Branch informant, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the 1997 murder of another member of the group. This effectively ended the organisation, although a small group of people still use the name to describe themselves.

The London nailbomber David Copeland was a member of the BNP for about two months before moving to the extremist neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement. Copeland says he left the party because it was "too democratic" and did not support his extremist views and desire to use violence and terrorism.

In response to allegations of neo-Nazism the BNP under the leadership of Nick Griffin has publicly denounced the utility of neo-Nazism in relation to British Nationalism.[8] (http://www.bnp.org.uk/articles/appeal_swastika.htm) Similarly, Griffin urges misguided nationalist oriented youth to renounce Nazism, join the BNP and use the ballot box instead of violence to achieve political aims. [9] (http://www.bnp.org.uk/articles/no_confrontation.htm)

Criminal records and extreme or violent affiliation of some BNP organizers

A number of members of the BNP leadership have been reported [10] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/programmes/2001/bnp_special/membership/organisers/criminal.stm) as:

The BNP dismisses these instances since all occurred many years ago—mostly long before the individuals concerned were party members—and state that if they were to occur in the future, the perpetrator would be immediately expelled from the BNP. The office of national statistics states that over 20% of the working population has a criminal record, and the BNP is quick to emphasize this fact in its defence. Opponents respond the BNP's rebuttal by alleging that the offences stated are substantially more serious than the offences typically committed by the general population of minor criminals, and that the people named are "leading members" of the BNP.

However, in response to such claims the BNP states that a considerable number of individuals from the established parties have committed such serious crimes as paedophilia and major fraud, and feels that such crimes are rather more serious that those some opponents ascribe to BNP officials—indeed, the party has placed an article (now withdrawn, but available at [11] (http://web.archive.org/web/20041028084300/www.bnp.org.uk/articles/liars_thieves.htm)) on their website providing a list of criminal activities attributed to members of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democratic parties.

Critics add the claim that because the BNP is smaller than any of those parties, so the proportion of BNP members with criminal convictions appears to be much higher than in any of the major parties. The BNP argues that it does not and cannot painstakingly vet every single member, and neither do the major parties vet their members in this way. It is therefore impossible to know the real proportion of members with a criminal conviction in any party, it continues. However, its response goes, because the BNP attracts so much more highly critical attention from its opponents, both in political parties and the media, the proportion of its members discovered to have criminal records appears to be higher simply because far more effort is put into finding them. If, the BNP states, the same effort were put into exposing criminals in the major parties, many, many more would be found and there would appear no such discrepancy - indeed, it suggests, the more serious nature of their crimes would prove more damning than any critics have attributed to its members. No such investigation has been carried out, however, and so the BNP's response remains, at this point, speculative.

In December, 2004, police arrested Griffin after he was secretly filmed calling Islam "a wicked, vicious faith".[12] (http://uk.news.yahoo.com/041214/325/f8jv9.html). In 2005, he was charged with two further charges of incitement to racial hatred, subsequent to secret filming of BNP meetings.

Electoral strategy

The BNP aims to appeal to those members of the population who consider immigration to be a threat to their jobs, a cause of rising crime, and a basis for cultural decline. Under its current policy, the party backs an immediate halt to "all further non-European immigration" and the "voluntary resettlement" of foreigners to their lands of ethnic origin by way of generous "homeward-bound" grants which would be made available to anyone who wanted to take advantage of them.

Some critics of the party claim that it endorses consideration of "forcible repatriation" for those foreigners who refuse to return, as it states so in various papers, and documents.

The party has also stated that it does not regard non-white people as being 'British', even if they have been born in the UK and are British citizens. Instead, the BNP has stated that such people living in the UK would be regarded as 'permanent guests'.

The party has often been accused of exploiting and inflaming racial tensions for its own benefit in a number of areas, a claim the BNP vociferously denies - indeed, it states that if any individuals responsible for inflaming racial tensions have any connection with the BNP, such connections would swiftly be ended once discovered. On this matter, the party cites its statement that all members must stay out of volatile areas at times of high racial tension, or face expulsion from the party. Opponents view this statement as hypocrisy on the part of the BNP, stating that the BNP has regularly marched in areas where their presence would be considered to be a provocation; however, the BNP has made no marches since Nick Griffin took up its leadership. Marches were a favourite tactic of John Tyndall, but one from which today's BNP is anxious to distance itself, in favour of more sophisticated Public and Media relations manoeuvring.

In the case of Burnley, BNP election canvassers handed out leaflets claiming that the town's Asian population was receiving preferential treatment from the local council (which the council has strenuously denied). Critics cite this as an example of the BNP's efforts to incite racial division, however, the BNP dismisses this claim, and states that it simply wants to see fair and equal funding to all ethnic groups within the town.

However, the official government report into the Burnley troubles showed that the majority of white people living in the town also believed that Asians were receiving preferential treatment to the detriment of the white population. [13] (http://www.burnleytaskforce.org.uk/findings.htm){this appears to be inaccurate - link is dead}. Critics of the BNP, however, claim that this belief is the result a BNP disinformation campaign.

The BNP does still hold protests at specific events - one of the most famous of these was at the count in the Oldham elections of 2001, where Nick Griffin and Mick Treacy, the party's Oldham organiser, wore gags and T-shirts bearing the words "Gagged for telling the truth" in protest of the decision to ban candidates' speeches at the event due to the BNP's presence.

No BNP candidate has ever won a seat as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, although in 2001 - possibly partially due to a number of riots in the North of England that were arguably race-related - BNP local election results improved markedly. The then growing issue of the asylum-seekers (immigrants going to a safe haven after fleeing their native country for various reasons) was another probable factor contributing to this increased electoral success.

Electoral performance

The BNP currently has 24 elected local councillors, out of the many thousands of local councillors across the UK. Nick Griffin light-heartedly described the Party's PR department (one of its most important strata) as being "basically made with shoestring, sealing wax and bits of orange peel".

The BNP's first electoral success came in September 1993, when Derek Beackon was returned as councillor for Millwall (in London) on a low turnout. He lost his seat in further elections the next year, although his personal vote actually increased by 30% (on a turnout of 70%). The Millwall seat was the Party's only electoral victory in John Tyndall's seventeen year reign as leader.

In the council elections of May 2002, three BNP candidates gained seats on Burnley council. This was interpreted in some quarters as an indicator of the mood of the British electorate. The BNP had fielded 68 candidates nationwide.

In the council elections of May 2003, the BNP increased its Burnley total by five seats, thus briefly becoming the second-largest party and official opposition on that council, a position it narrowly lost soon afterwards to the Liberal Democrats, which beat the BNP by a margin of just 0.4% in a by-election. The five new Burnley seats were formerly held by a combination of all three mainstream political parties, suggesting that the BNP was winning votes from across the political spectrum. The Party contested a record 221 seats nationwide (just under 4% of the total available). They won eleven council seats in all, though Nick Griffin was unsuccessful in his attempt to gain a place on Oldham Metropolitan Council.

The BNP failed to win any council seats in Sunderland despite putting candidates up for election in all 25 of the city's wards, and an extensive campaign. However, the Party did substantially increase its Sunderland vote. In the general election of 2001, their candidate received 1,263 votes. In the May 2002 council election, the BNP fielded a candidate in just one ward, receiving slightly over 13% of the vote on a 22% turnout. In the 2003 elections, the party received an average of just under 14% of the votes across all 25 seats, on an increased average turnout of 46%. The party retained 24 of its 25 election deposits, narrowly losing the other one with a vote of 4.84% against the deposit retention benchmark of 5%. Of the other 24 seats, six gained between 5 and 10% of the vote, twelve between 10 and 20%, and six between 20 and 29.65%, the latter figure being the highest single percentage. The total vote gained was 13,652, more than ten times the general election figure of just two years previously. One of the most interesting points about the Sunderland elections was how the different news media reported the outcome. The BNP has also gained council seats in parts of the Black Country in the West Midlands and in Hertfordshire and Essex in the South East of England.

Local council election results in the second half of 2003 have proved encouraging for the party, winning three out of six seats contested and narrowly missing out on a fourth. In September 2003, the newspaper The Independent described the BNP as an "emerging" threat to the Labour Party, whilst a Labour MEP warned his party that the BNP could gain a seat in the 2004 elections to the European Parliament. The BNP has also stated that it believed it could win "between one and three seats" in that election, almost certainly including the "North West England" EU constituency. In fact, although their share of the vote increased to 4.9%, they did not win any seats.

As of October 2003, the Party has seventeen elected councillors, all in England. This was previously eighteen, but the BNP expelled one of its existing Burnley councillors from the Party after his alleged unruly behaviour at its annual 'Red, White and Blue' festival. At the Party's request, the councillor subsequently resigned his council seat. The former councillor in question had been hurriedly chosen after the party's first choice was unavailable to stand for election at very short notice. The BNP claims that it had no way of predicting the unsuitability of this last-minute choice due to the circumstances, and describes the incident as only a "minor setback". The party lost the subsequent by-election for this resigned seat.

The BNP claims to be a UK-wide party and has contested seats in Wales and Scotland, as well as England. In the Scottish parliamentary elections of 2003, it only contested the Glasgow region (with one person on their list) and polled poorly. It failed to contest any Scottish seats in the 2001 elections, but did put up a candidate for Newport West in Wales. It has now announced plans to contest elections in Northern Ireland and has already selected some candidates. On the 18 December 2003, the party polled 14.7% in a by-election in Aston Ward for Flintshire County Council, north Wales.

The Party is also picking up an increasing share of the vote in the South West of England, where its strongly eurosceptic policies are believed to be popular.

Many commentators have put the electoral successes of the BNP down to voters' casting a 'protest vote' against what they perceive as incompetence by their local councils, and disillusionment with the mainstream parties, rather than support for the BNP's policies. However, the BNP's consistent good polling in some areas has led some to question this analysis.

In December 2003, the BNP welcomed its first councillor defector - a former member of the Conservative party on Calderdale council [14] (http://www.bnp.org.uk/news/2003_dec/news_dec06.htm), [15] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/2990052.stm). The move surprised many commentators, but the party has stated that it expects such events to become frequent occurrences: "A number of councillors from other parties are reported to be awaiting the outcome of next June's Local Election results and where a BNP Group (two or more councillors) exists we expect quite widespread defection from the Tories in particular." Since this statement was made, three further defections to the party has taken place (as of October 2004).

The party's most recent election success saw it gain its highest ever proportion of the vote - 51.9% (on a turnout of 28.8%), more than all the other parties put together, in the Goresbrook ward of Barking on 16 September 2004. However, less than ten months after his election, BNP Cllr. Daniel Kelley has, after compaining to the local press that other councillors treated him "like a leper" and on supposed grounds of ill-health, resigned his seat. Kelley had also told the local newspaper, the Barking and Dagenham Recorder [16] (http://www.bdrecorder.co.uk), that "There's meetings that go right over my head and there's little point in me being there". A new election will be held on 23 June 2005.

In a subsequent byelection in the nearby Village Ward in Dagenham on 7 October it polled 38.4% of the vote, coming second to Labour and gaining more than twice the vote of the Conservative candidate. No other parties stood.

In the 2005 General Election the British National Party stood 119 candidates across England, Scotland and Wales. Between those candidates the BNP polled 192,850 votes, gaining an average of 4.2% across the seats they stood in, and 0.7% nationwide - a 0.5% rise from the 2001 election. Notable results included 16.9% in Barking, where candidate Richard Barking narrowly missed 2nd place to the Conservatives, Keighley, where party chairman Nick Griffin took 9.2% of the vote, and Dewsbury, where David Exley took 13.1%. Overall, the BNP saved 32 deposits and increased their total vote by 410%. In those seats which the BNP stood in they were the 4th largest party. However, they did not stand nationwide, meaning that their national share of the vote was substantially lower than other minor parties.

Opposition to the BNP

The BNP's policies have been rejected by a majority of the voters in most places where its candidates have stood for election, although its share of the vote has increased in recent years in many of the areas in which they have stood.

The BNP is condemned by all sections of the mainstream media, including right-wing newspapers, such as the Sun and Daily Mail, which share some of the party's concerns over immigration. Representatives of the three major mainstream political parties all condemn the BNP, although the party has taken council seats from them all in various areas. High-ranking politicians from each of the mainstream parties have, at various times, called for their own supporters to vote for anyone but the BNP! This message has confused many as, for instance, Conservative supporters are not sure whether their own party are asking them not to vote for their own candidate, but rather for whoever is most likely to defeat the BNP. Where the BNP has still proved successful, the mainstream parties have usually been quick to blame each other for the BNP's success. At the 2003 Conservative Party Conference, Trevor Phillips, Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality (and former Labour Party candidate), said that the BNP's success was partly due to lacklustre election campaigns by the Tories. He asked local Conservative branches to "raise their game when it comes to electioneering." This request was subsequently ignored when a local Conservative branch in Halifax refused to stand a candidate against the BNP in an election which they, themselves, had no chance of winning. This was in spite of their own Conservative Central Office's ordering them to do so.

According to the BNP, an increasing number of former Conservative supporters are also turning to the party. It is thought that their strong anti-EU policies strike a chord with many disenchanted Conservative voters; however, in the run up to the 2004 European elections this position was taken by the right-wing UKIP (UK Independence Party), resulting in them receiving the majority of the anti-Europe "protest vote", rather than the more hardline BNP.

Because of its lack of substantial electoral support across the country, but despite their high media profile, the BNP is still widely considered to be at the fringes of British politics. However, media comment on some issues such as asylum seekers is often very close to the BNP's position, and the party's chairman, Nick Griffin, has described the tabloids as "one of the BNPs best recruiting agents" in the past.

Amongst the most visible and vocal opponents of the BNP and other right-wing groups in recent years are the Anti-Nazi League (ANL) and Anti Fascist Action (AFA). The ANL, along with Rock Against Racism (RAR) originated during the late 1970s by the far left Socialist Workers Party. During the late 70s, the more radical and revolutionary "Red Action" camp broke away from the rest of the ANL due to ideological differences and formed the AFA.

The ANL is supported and partly funded by Trade Union affiliations, and would usually heavily leaflet and counter-campaign in many of the right-wing party's target wards. The groups held frequent protests against BNP events, some of which ended in violent confrontation between ANL and BNP members.

More recently the ANL has worked within the "Unite Against Fascism" coalition which aims to unite the broadest possible spectrum to oppose the BNP and the far-right.

Searchlight magazine, edited by Gerry Gable, has monitored the activities of the BNP and its members for many years, and has published many articles highly critical of them and other organisations of the right, including UKIP and the Conservative Party's "Monday Club"..

A great deal of controversy has taken place regarding the values of free speech as opposed to hate speech in regards to the BNP. Griffin and the BNP have called for more open debate on racial/immigration issues within public sphere.

The BNP claim that 'politically correct' buzzwords like "fascist", "racist", "Islamphobe", "homophobe", form a rhetoric that the political Left use to silence debate and free speech. On the other hand, Leftist groups like the ANL claim that no positive coverage should be given to groups or individuals enunciating "hate speech", and instead support a "no platform" policy. Such a tactic states that the BNP and similar parties should be ignored by both rival politicians and the media, this has resulted in BNP candidates being banned from speaking at various Hustings meetings around the country.

Another example of this came when anti-BNP campaigners launched an attack on Leeds Student newspaper after it published a full-page article/interview with Nick Griffin. One group named Leeds Unite Against Fascism (LUAF) accused the publication of breaching Leeds University Students' Union policy by giving platform to racists and fascists. [17] (http://www.leedstoday.net/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=39&ArticleID=971585) Another recent example of a campaign to silence the BNP occurred in Edinburgh, Scotland when Socialists blockaded and forced a BNP publicity stall to close. [18] (http://news.scotsman.com/politics.cfm?id=332032005)

Other instances of opposition silencing the views of the BNP are plentiful. One of the most significant was when an invitation to Nick Griffin by the University of St Andrews Union Debating Society to participate in a debate on multiculturalism was condemned [19] (http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=4085642), then withdrawn after protests (some of which included threats of violence). [20] (http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/education.cfm?id=136502005) Such cases are often used by the BNP to push their messages against 'political correctness' and purport an image as pursuers of democracy and advocates of 'free speech'.[21] (http://www.bnp.org.uk/news_detail.php?newsId=164)

Given this staunch position from groups of the Left to protect the rights of Asians and Muslims it is perhaps somewhat ironic that a recent revelation in the mainstream media detailed that the BNP monthly publication The Voice of Freedom [22] (http://www.bnp.org.uk/freedom/) is printed at a Saudi Arabian-owned firm which mainly employs Asians and Muslims.[23] (http://www.printweek.com/news/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&UID=d2c6dc67-7c8c-4686-956f-439289db19f3)

Affiliated parties

  • Front National (http://www.frontnational.com/) - Jean Marie Le Pens' French Front National

The BNP and the Front National have co-operated on numerous occasions. Jean-Marie Le Pen visited the UK last year to assist launching the BNP's European Parliament campaign [24] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3654941.stm), and Nick Griffin repayed the favour by sending a delegation of BNP officials to the FN's annual 'First of May Joan of Arc parade' in Paris this year [25] (http://www.bnp.org.uk/news_detail.php?newsId=288).

Previous British National Parties

The current use of the name British National Party is its third appearance in British politics. The original BNP emerged after the Second World War when a handful of former members of the British Union of Fascists took on the name. This party was absorbed quite quickly into the Union Movement.

The second BNP was formed in 1960 by the merger of the National Labour Party and the White Defence League, two political splinter groups from the League of Empire Loyalists pressure group. This BNP managed to secure an 8.1% share of the vote in Deptford in the 1960 London elections, a respectable result. The BNP continued until 1967 when it was one of the constituent parts of the National Front. The leader of this second incarnation of the BNP, John Bean, is also a current BNP member. Colin Jordan served as Activities Organiser of this party until he left in 1962 to found the National Socialist Movement.

External links

General press articles

Police press release

Anti-BNP sources

BNP sources

Other pro-BNP sources

  • Right Now Magazine (http://www.right-now.org/), - British right wing magazine. Issue No. 50 (February - March 2005)* Features an interview with Nick Griffin (available online). Look for article called "Hearing the BNP's side" by Derek Turner. (PDF format only) *NOTE - After this date see archives.
  • Spearhead Online (http://www.spearhead.com/) - Website of Spearhead Magazine, edited by former BNP* leader John Tyndall *Note: This site or its views are not endorsed in any official capacity by the current BNP.
  • Sovereignty (http://www.sovereignty.org.uk/features/articles/sblake.html) (Issue: April 2004) Interview with Steve Blake: Lead Candidate for the BNP in Scotland.
  • Pro-Democracy League website (http://www.pdl.org.uk/index2.html) - Right-wing and critical of the ANL (Anti-Nazi League) and UAF (Unite Against Fascism).de:British National Party
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