British National Party
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|British National Party|
|Headquarters||PO Box 287, Waltham Cross, Herts, EN8 8ZU|
|Political Ideology||Populism, Ethnic nationalism|
|Political Position||Far Right|
|International Affiliation||Multilateral ties, see "affiliates" section|
|European Parliament Group||n/a|
|Colours||Red, White and Blue|
|See also||Politics of the UK
- This article is about the modern party. For the 1960s BNP, see here.
The British National Party (BNP) is the most prominent far right political party in the United Kingdom. It has 55 councillors in local government, but unlike some of its European analogues, it has no presence in the national Parliament; some argue that this is because the UK's first-past-the-post system makes it difficult for small parties to achieve electoral success in UK elections.
According to its constitution, the BNP "stands for the preservation of the national and ethnic character of the British people and is wholly opposed to any form of racial integration between British and non-European peoples", and is "committed to stemming and reversing the tide of non-white immigration and to restoring, by legal changes, negotiation and consent the overwhelmingly white makeup of the British population that existed in Britain prior to 1948". To achieve this aim, the BNP advocates the use of "firm but voluntary incentives" to remove ethnic minorities from the UK. Membership of the party is restricted to "Indigenous Caucasians." 
The BNP denies that it is racist, however, stating that it is merely standing up for the white British working class. The party believes that racism is a part of human nature and therefore describes its supporters as "realists".
The BNP is rebuked and ostracized by mainstream politicians, including Conservative MP David Cameron  and Mayor of London Ken Livingstone. Moreover, anti-fascist organizations such as Searchlight and Unite Against Fascism dedicate the bulk of their efforts to denouncing the BNP.
 Founding of the modern BNP
The modern BNP has its roots in the New National Front, founded in 1980 by the late John Tyndall, a former chairman of the National Front (NF) and veteran National Socialist ideologue. Tyndall was a member of the previous (1960s) BNP, which itself was one of the organizations that eventually became the NF, and was Chairman of the Front for most of the 1970s. Following the 1979 general election Tyndall came under heavy criticism after the party's strategy of nominating a large number of candidates was perceived to have failed. He resigned from the Front in January 1980 after failing to oust its National Organiser, Martin Webster. The New National Front called for an "Anglo-Saxon Alliance" of the UK, Germany and the USA.
 First general election
In 1982, the New National Front and a faction of the then-disintegrating British Movement led by Ray Hill merged to form the new British National Party. Tyndall was elected leader and Hill became his deputy, with much of the early funding provided by Tyndall's father in law Charles Parker.  The launch was announced in a press conference in the spring, and on April 24, the party had its inaugural march in London. At its first general election, in 1983, the party sponsored 53 candidates, three more than was required to obtain a Party Election Broadcast on television. The broadcast went out on May 31 and consisted of Tyndall, flanked by two Union Jacks, speaking to camera. Images of the Brixton riot were shown as Tyndall's speech attempted to encourage nationalism (one observer noted that the "emphasis was less heavily anti-black... than the [National] Front's"). The giving of television time to the BNP was controversial and was debated on the following edition of Right to Reply on Channel 4.
During the campaign Tyndall stated that the only significant differences between the BNP and the National Front lay in the fact that his party would bar homosexuals from high office, and that he was hopeful the two could reunite. The party's candidates won 14,621 votes: it was noted that the BNP's average vote was less than the National Front and that in the two constituencies where both stood, the NF was clearly more popular.
Unknown to the party, Ray Hill was actually working for the anti-fascist group Searchlight and observers have suggested that the party's relatively low profile in its early years may have been related to his sabotage. The party held a rally in Bradford on July 21, 1984, having notified the police of their intentions; the police decided not to tell the Bradford Community Relations Council, and were present in large numbers at the rally.
With the disintegration of the National Front, the BNP had friendly relations with the Support Group faction, and also attempted to recruit members of the dissolved Federation of Conservative Students (an attempt that did not see success, as the BNP's authoritarian policy did not appeal to the libertarians of the FCS). The increase in the deposit required of Parliamentary candidates hindered the party during the 1987 elections when it received 553 votes having put up 2 candidates. However, the party formed some strong international links.
 Early 1990s
After some financial troubles, the party's national headquarters were established at Welling in south-east London in 1989, above a bookshop operated by the party. In the early 1990s the party saw a growth in popularity mainly in London and the urban south east, and especially in the borough of Tower Hamlets in the inner East End where increasing immigration from Bangladesh in an area of housing pressure led it to campaign for "Rights for whites" (a campaign directed by Eddy Butler). At two by-elections in 1990, the party came in third, and on October 1, 1992 the party won 20% of the vote in a by-election in Millwall ward.
A second by-election in Millwall in September 1993 saw a renewed BNP campaign to take the seat. The party obtained its first councillor, Derek Beackon, with a majority of seven votes. Although Beackon was able to achieve little on the council before the full council elections (in which he lost his seat, after anti-fascist campaigners flooded the area), the by-election win led to a great increase in publicity for the party. The party headquarters site increasingly became a venue for anti-fascist protesters who frequently linked its presence to racial crimes in the surrounding area. A near-riot ensued on October 16, 1993 when the police forced a 15,000 anti-BNP protest march to change its route away from outside the party building (31 people were arrested and nineteen police officers injured).
Their slogan during this period was "Defend Rights for Whites".
 Griffin assumes leadership
Nick Griffin joined the BNP in 1995. Griffin had been a member of the NF Directorate under Tyndall and remained after Tyndall's resignation, eventually leaving the Front in 1989, to join the International Third Position. In 1999 he replaced Tyndall as BNP leader after a leadership election. Tyndall went on to run several articles in his magazine Spearhead (which Griffin had previously edited) that were highly critical of the Griffin leadership. He was expelled from the BNP in August 2003 along with his closest allies Richard Edmonds and John Morse. He continued to publish articles in Spearhead attacking Griffin and disputing the BNP's account of his expulsion. He was readmitted to the party in December 2003 after an out-of-court settlement with Griffin, announced his intention of challenging Griffin for the leadership in July 2004, and was expelled again in December of the same year. Tyndall died on July 18, 2005.
 Improved electoral performance and policy revamp
Griffin began a programme of modernising the BNP's image, dropping policy of the compulsory repatriation of non-whites and replacing it with a firm encouragement for "voluntary" repatriation . This was followed by an improvement in electoral performances. This was also a time of increased voter alienation with the major parties and some have argued that this was the primary cause of the party’s triumphs. In the 2002 local elections, the BNP gained 3 seats in Burnley and averaged 20% of the votes where it stood councillors. The party was accused, however, of exploiting the high tensions in areas that had recently undergone racially-motivated riots .
 2004 BBC documentary
The increased success led to increased scrutiny from the press. In The Secret Agent, a BBC documentary broadcast on July 15, 2004, filmmaker 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 Riot; ex 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, a claim denied by the proprietor.
In his speech, Griffin stated that "For saying that, I tell you, I will get seven years if I said that outside", referring to the maximum sentence for the criminal offence of incitement to racial hatred.
The BNP's response to the programme was that it had featured "the loudest and most hot-headed BNP activists [who] were deliberately plied with drink and subject to suggestive provocation". In the wake of the documentary the party expelled Barkham and Midgley (but not Williams). Griffin did not apologise for his own comments, stating that "it's still not illegal to criticise Islam". He and BNP member Mark Collett were subsequently prosecuted for incitement to racial hatred which they were found not guilty of. (see below).
 Events in 2004 and 2005
The party has increasingly positioned itself against Islam, which Griffin has repeatedly called "wicked and vicious". In the wake of the 7 July bombings in London, the BNP released leaflets featuring images of the bombed Route 30 bus and the slogan "Maybe now it's time to start listening to the BNP." This move has been criticized by some as playing on people's high emotions and grief following a horrendous attack .
On July 21, 2005, Griffin and BNP activist Mark Collett pleaded not guilty at Leeds Crown Court to four and eight charges, respectively, of incitement to racial hatred. The charges resulted from the BBC documentary The Secret Agent (see above). Preparing for the worst, Griffin nominated West Midlands organiser Simon Darby as his temporary replacement if he was imprisoned . John Tyndall was also due to appear in court but had died three days earlier. The case ended just over five months later on February 2, 2006. Griffin and Collett were each acquitted of half of the charges against them with an open verdict delivered on the remaining charges. The Crown Prosecution Service announced that they would pursue a retrial on the remaining charges; Griffin and Collett were also cleared of these. They used the result of the trial to criticse the BBC and label them 'cockroaches'. Following the trial, the possibility of tightening race hate laws has been discussed. 
After the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy, the BNP republished one of the cartoons of Muhammad on a leaflet, accompanied by a photo of Muslim demonstrators holding placards bearing murderous slogans and a "Which one do YOU find offensive?" caption.
 Run-up to the UK 2006 local election
Events in the run up to the 2006 local elections seemed to show an increase in support for the BNP, with research carried out by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, showing that, in the parts of England where the BNP put most of their resources, one in four voters was considering voting BNP with the figure at one in five in parts of London . A government minister in the Department for Work and Pensions Margaret Hodge also highlighted the increase in support by saying that eight out of ten white working class people in her London constituency of Barking were "tempted" to vote for the BNP. The increase in support for the BNP was described by some as a protest vote and others as voter alienation with the three mainstream parties (Labour, Conservatives, and the Liberal-Democrats) . The increase in support for the BNP was notably demonstrated by a poll released by YouGov, a British polling firm, that indicated that the BNP vote had surged to 7% in the wake of media attention, a more than ten-fold increase over the previous general election.
A YouGov poll in April 2006 found that the majority of Britons agreed with many BNP policies, when unaware they were associated with the BNP. 59% supported the halting of all further immigration, and average support for the BNP propositions cited in the poll among those who did not know they belonged to the BNP was 55%. However, there were also certain BNP propositions which were strongly opposed by those polled, including non-white citizens being inherently "less British", and the party's policy of encouraging the "repatriation" of ethnic minorities. Support also fell among those who were told that the policies were those of the BNP.
 The UK 2006 local election results
On May 5, 2006, the results of the 2006 local elections were reported by the BBC and showed what some described as a dramatic increase for the BNP. The party presented about 350 candidates, of which 33 were initially declared to be winners: the second highest gain of any party in the elections. This more than doubled the number of seats held by the BNP (before the elections, the BNP was estimated to have held about 20 local political seats). Also noteworthy is the fact that the constituency of Barking and Dagenham became, according to many newspapers, the first council in the United Kingdom to have the BNP as the second-biggest party . However, the BNP were briefly the second largest party on Burnley Council in 2003.
Critics of the BNP, however, said that the voters were simply punishing the unpopular Labour Party, rather than expressing an increased interest in supporting the BNP; they also noted that the party's gains leave it with 53 out of over 20,000 councillors in the UK, a very low proportion.
BNP candidate Sharon Ebanks initially appeared to have won a seat in the Birmingham ward of Kingstanding, but shortly after the declaration the returning officer announced that many of her votes had been double-counted and that the seat should have gone to the Labour candidate . However, as electoral law states a declaration cannot be overturned without a court order, she was declared the victor and sworn in as councillor. Ebanks finally lost her seat on 26 July 2006 when the High Court confirmed her votes had indeed been miscounted. She was immediately replaced by Labour candidate Catherine Grundy .
The Birmingham Sunday Mercury reported that Ebanks had a black Jamaican father, in apparent conflict with the BNP's policy of white-only membership. Miss Ebanks denies this is true, and has previously spoken against inter-racial marriages. In October 2006 Ebanks was expelled from the BNP for making anti-semitic remarks. She has gone on to form the New Nationalist Party (NNP)
 Policies, and position on the political spectrum
The BNP is generally not regarded as economically "right-wing": that is, they oppose laissez-faire economics, instead emphasising so-called Third-way distributism. Rather, the description of them as 'far-right' relates to their authoritarian brand of ultra-nationalist and collectivist policies, as well as their promotion of racial segregation  and compulsory military service. The Thatcherite former Conservative Party Chairman Lord Tebbit has said that the BNP policies of "central direction of the economy, nationalisation, worker control of businesses, and opposition to capitalism and free trade" are left-wing rather than right-wing and that "nationalism, racism and anti-semitism are not uniquely of the Left or Right but can be found on either side of the spectrum".
Since Griffin took over its leadership, the BNP has tried to moderate its ideology in line with the "Euronationalist" approach adopted by a number of far-right European counterparts such as the Austrian Freedom Party set up by Jörg Haider. This is a pattern of emphasis and presentation of policies cited as a factor in such parties' increased electoral successes of the 1990s and, arguably much more, the 2000s.
Under John Tyndall's leadership, for example, the party campaigned for the compulsory repatriation of all ethnic minorities. The party now advocates "voluntary repatriation" encouraged by government grants. This was a policy for which Griffin argued during his 1999 leadership campaign: at the time The Times quoted him as saying that while, like many members, he still privately supported forcible repatriation, he believed the policy was a "vote loser".
The party's other policies include:
- The ending of immigration to the UK from all areas except Western Europe, North America, and Australia.
- "A massively-funded and permanent programme, using and doubling Britain's current foreign aid budget, will aim to reduce, by voluntary resettlement to their lands of ethnic origin, the proportion of ethnic minorities living in Britain" 
- The removal of all illegal immigrants 
- The repeal of all "anti-discrimination" legislation, including the Race Relations Act.
- Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and the pursuit of protectionist economic measures.
- Encouraging greater share ownership and worker co-operatives.
- Restricting foreign aid to the support of countries receiving "repatriated" members of ethnic minorities. Griffin argued against giving unconditional foreign aid, including disaster aid, claiming 'charity' is not an acceptable use of public funds.
- The reintroduction of corporal punishment for petty criminals and vandals, and the reintroduction of capital punishment for paedophiles, terrorists and murderers where their guilt has been proven to be beyond doubt (for example by DNA testing).
- The reintroduction of national service and the denial of some civil rights from conscientious objectors refusing to perform national service.
- The requirement that all law-abiding adults completing national service maintain a standard-issue military assault rifle and ammunition in their home.
- A mandatory jail term for anyone assaulting an NHS worker. 
- Providing extra resources for special needs children, and reversing the closure of special needs schools.
- The reunification of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland in a 'federation of the nations of the British Isles'
Source: BNP website
 Electoral strategy
Because of its lack of substantial electoral support across the country 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.
The BNP aims strongly to appeal to those members of the population who consider immigration a threat to 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 non-white people 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.
According to the BNP, an increasing number of former Conservative supporters are turning to the party. The party claims 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 also articulated by the more mainstream United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), resulting in them receiving the majority of the anti-Europe "protest vote", rather than the BNP.
Currently the major emphasis of the BNP's electoral propaganda appears to be anti-Islamic, alleging widespread support of extremism and terrorism amongst the Muslim community.
 Electoral performance
 National parliament
- For full details of candidates and votes in parliamentary elections, see British National Party election results
The BNP has contested seats in England, Wales and Scotland, and has announced plans to contest future elections in Northern Ireland. No BNP candidate has ever won a seat as a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons.
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 several seats they stood in, and 0.7% nationwide - a 0.5% rise from the 2001 election. 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 and exit poll predictions of 3%.
 General election performance of BNP
|Year||Number of Candidates||Percentage of vote||Total votes||Change (percentage points)||Average voters per candidate|
 Local government
Like other minority parties in the UK, the majority of the BNP's electoral success has come in local government elections. 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 after the resignation of a BNP councillor who had been disciplined by the party after unruly behaviour at the party's annual 'Red, White and Blue' festival. The BNP lost the subsequent by-election to the Liberal Democrats, which beat the BNP by a margin of 0.4% in a by-election.
During these elections, the BNP 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. In some areas, such as Sunderland, it constested all wards and failed to get a seat; in others areas such as Essex, parts of the Black Country in the West Midlands and in Hertfordshire it gained council seats.
Prior to the 2004 elections to the European Parliament, the BNP had stated that it believed it could win "between one and three seats" in the 2004 European Parliamentary elections, almost certainly including the "North West England" European Parliamentary constituency.  In fact, although their share of the vote increased to 4.9%, they failed to win a single seat. The Party also hoped to pick up an increased share of the vote in the South West of England, where its strongly eurosceptic policies were believed to be most popular. However, in that region it gained only 3.0% of the vote, coming 6th. 
Many researchers have put the electoral successes of the BNP down to voters' casting a 'protest vote' against the perceived incompetence of local councils, and disillusionment with the mainstream parties, rather than as positive 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, a councillor from another party (a Conservative on Calderdale council) defected to the BNP for the first time , . He was followed in August 2004 by another Conservative, on Mirfield Council , and an independent member of Keighley town council in March 2006 . Conversely, other BNP councillors have resigned or left the party . For example, Burnley councillor Maureen Stowe, who said, "I could never understand why all those people were calling the BNP fascists. Well I do now." 
The party's biggest election success was a gain of 51.9% of the vote in the Goresbrook ward of Barking on 16 September 2004. However, the turnout was just 28.8%, and the councillor Daniel Kelley retired just 10 months later, claiming that he had been an outcast within the council. A new election was held on 23 June 2005, in which this time the Labour candidate gained 51% of the vote, and the BNP came second with 32%. .
In the local elections on 4 May 2006, the BNP more than doubled its number of councillors, increasing the number from 20 to 52.  The biggest gain was in Barking and Dagenham where the BNP won 11 of the 13 seats it contested. A twelfth seat was awarded to the BNP, following a High Court petition. The BNP also won 3 seats in Epping Forest, 3 in Stoke on Trent, 3 in Sandwell, 2 seats in Burnley, 2 in Kirklees, and single seats in Bradford, Havering, Solihull, Redditch, Redbridge, Pendle and Leeds. The Solihull seat was in the Chelmsley Wood ward and was won by a majority of just 19 votes. They were initially declared to have won the Birmingham seat of Kingstanding but this was due to a counting error and subsequently overturned in court.
On 15 May 2006, the Reverend Robert West, a member of South Holland District Council who was suspended from the Conservative Party, joined the BNP.  In addition to this on 10 August 2006 the BNP gained their first councillor in Wales when Mike Howard of Rhewl Mostyn, Flintshire defected being an Independent to the BNP out of disillusion with Labours policies on the national level. Hence As of 10 August 2006, the party has 53 councillors in local government.
- See also: Elections in the United Kingdom
 Structure of the BNP
The BNP is structured on regional lines, with 12 defined regions, each with an organiser . The party also organises four groups that deal with specific areas of activity i.e. Land and People (which deals with rural affaris), Pensioners' Awareness Group, the Friends of European Nationalism (a New Zealand-based organisation) and the Ethnic Liaison Committee, which co-ordinates work with non-whites . The BNP also has 16 specifically defined party officials, with the current holders of these offices being as follows:
- Chairman - Nick Griffin
- Deputy Chairman - Scott McLean
- Enquirers Secretary - Martin Roberts
- Director of Legal Department - Lee Barnes
- Editor of Identity - John Bean
- Editor of website - Steve Blake
- Head of Publicity - Mark Collett
- Director of Information Technology - Simon Darby
- National Press Officer - Dr. Phil Edwards
- Head of Student Association - Joseph Finnon
- Director of Group Development - Sadie Graham
- Head of Department of Security - Martin Reynolds
- Director of Administration - Kenny Smith
- National Treasurer - John Walker
- Editor of Voice of Freedom - Martin Wingfield
- Membership Secretary - Tina Wingfield 
 BNP claims of repression of free speech
The BNP claims that the mainstream media in the UK do not mention BNP policies, or make reference to statements made by the BNP, though this assertion ignores their tiny level of support nationally.
Due to campaigning from anti-fascist groups, the BNP has encountered difficulties finding a company prepared to print their monthly publication Voice of Freedom . The Party acquired a printing press in the run up to the 2005 general election, thereby removing its dependency on external printing houses. In September 2005, 60,000 copies of Voice of Freedom, which had been printed in Slovakia, were seized by British police at Dover. The police later admitted this was a mistake and released the impounded literature shortly thereafter. 
Party members sometimes conceal their affiliation, which can be deemed unacceptable by employers, unions and co-workers. Police officers are not allowed to be members of the BNP "or similar organisation[s] whose Constitution, aims, objectives or pronouncements may contradict the duty to promote equality". The prison service likewise prohibits membership of the BNP and similar organisations, because it deems them "racist". A similar policy has been discussed in the fire brigades and civil service. Many of the major trade unions are affiliates of Trade Union Friends of Searchlight.
 Race and the BNP
 History of the party and claims of repudiating racism
At its founding, the BNP was explicitly racist. In October 1990, the BNP 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 in 1993 if the BNP was racist, its deputy leader Richard Edmonds said, "We are 100 per cent racist, yes". Founder John Tyndall proclaimed that "Mein Kampf is my bible".
When Nick Griffin became Chairman in 1999, however, the party began to change its stance with regard to racial issues. Griffin claims to have repudiated racism, instead espousing what he calls "ethno-nationalism". He claims that his core ideology is "concern for the well-being of the English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish ethnic nations that compose the United Kingdom"  .
The BNP publicly disavows any interest in white supremacy. Its detractors argue that its definition of white supremacy as the "wish to rule over foreign peoples", is too narrow. The BNP requires that all members must be members of the "Indigenous Caucasian" "racial group" . The party does not regard non-white people as being British, even if they have been born in the UK and are British citizens. Instead, Griffin has stated that 'non-Europeans who stay', while protected by British law, 'will be regarded as permanent guests'.
Race is still important to the BNP’s understanding of nation and identity. The BNP is opposed to mixed-race relationships on the stated ground that racial 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." The party does however have a half Turkish half British councillor in Lawrence Rustem.
Despite this in 2006, Sharif Abdel Gawad, a grandson of an Armenian refugee was chosen as a council candidate in Bradford. The selection was reported to have caused some dissent within parts of the BNP,; however, it was defended by the BNP leadership who said 'ordinary members can rest assured that Sharif Gawad is not a racial alien. Sharif, despite his name is white and British and the British National Party is staying true to its core principles'. "Mr Gawad fulfilled the BNP criteria of being "a member of the white European race of people", they affirmed). 
Nick Griffin describes his views on race as follows: "... 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." Griffin's use of the phrase "secure a future for white children" seems to allude to the white nationalist "Fourteen Words".
The BNP supported Leeds University lecturer Dr. Frank Ellis, who was suspended from his post after claiming that the Bell Curve theory "has demonstrated to me beyond any reasonable doubt there is a persistent gap in average black and white average intelligence." Ellis for his part has called the BNP "a bit too socialist" for his liking and described himself as "an unrepentant Powellite" who would support "humane" repatriation. 
In April 2006 Sky News confronted the party's national press officer, Phil Edwards (it has been claimed that this is a pesudonym for Stuart Russell ), with a tape of telephone conversation the previous year. On the tape Russell could be heard to say that "black kids are going to grow up dysfunctional ... and are probably going to mug you". He responded: "If I thought I was going to be recorded ... I would not have used such intemperate language, but let’s be honest about it, the facts are there." 
 Anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial
Both the BNP and its leader, Nick Griffin, have historically promoted anti-Semitism and holocaust denial. The BNP claims that it has now "cast off the leg-iron ... of anti-Semitism" and states that the party has Jewish members, and one of its councillors, Pat Richardson (Epping Forest), is herself Jewish . The party's website states that racially British or European Jews may join the party.
In 1988, The Sunday Times revealed that Holocaust News, a publication that claimed the holocaust was an "evil hoax", was being published by the BNP's then deputy leader, Richard Edmonds, on behalf of a BNP front organisation, the Centre for Historical Review, and distributed by members. John Tyndall, the party's leader, said he was not involved in the publication but that it had his full support.
The 2002 Channel 4 documentary "Young, Nazi and Proud" featured hidden-camera footage of the then BNP youth leader Mark Collett stating his admiration for Adolf Hitler, and stating "I'd never say this on camera, the Jews have been thrown out of every country including England. It's not just persecution. There's no smoke without fire." It also featured footage of visitors to the party's annual "Red White and Blue" festival, some of whom wore the legend "88" (code for HH, "Heil Hitler").  Collett resigned from the party after the documentary's filming, but rejoined shortly afterwards, with Nick Griffin's approval, on the condition that Collett changed his views on the subject.
In 2006, the party's deputy chairman Scott McLean was shown on the TV documentary "Nazi Hate Rock" making Hitler salutes at a white-supremacist cross-burning ceremony where intensely racist songs were sung and jokes made about Auschwitz .
On the BNP leader's personal history of holocaust denial and anti-Semitism, see article on Nick Griffin.
 Anti-Islam focus
The party states that "The BNP has moved on in recent years, casting off the leg-irons of conspiracy theories and the thinly veiled anti-Semitism which has held this party back for two decades. The real enemies of the British people are home grown Anglo-Saxon Celtic liberal-leftists ... and the Crescent Horde – the endless wave of Islamics who are flocking to our shores to bring our island nations into the embrace of their barbaric desert religion." They have described this as the 'islamification' of Great Britain.
Consequently, the party has shifted allegiance in conflicts involving Israel. Its head of legal affairs, Lee Barnes, wrote on the party's website about the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict: "As a Nationalist I can say that I support Israel 100% in their dispute with Hezbollah. In fact, I hope they wipe Hezbollah off the Lebanese map and bomb them until they leave large greasy craters in the cities where their Islamic extremist cantons of terror once stood."
Nick Griffin has made it clear that this shift in emphasis is designed to increase the party's appeal. On one occasion he stated "We should be positioning ourselves to take advantage for our own political ends of the growing wave of public hostility to Islam currently being whipped up by the mass media."In a speech to local party activists in Burnley in March 2006, he said:
- We bang on about Islam. Why? Because to the ordinary public out there it's the thing they can understand. It's the thing the newspaper editors sell newspapers with. If we were to attack some other ethnic group — some people say we should attack the Jews ... But ... we've got to get to power. And if that was an issue we chose to bang on about when the press don't talk about it ... the public would just think we were barking mad. They'd just think oh, you're attacking Jews just because you want to attack Jews. You're attacking this group of powerful Zionists just because you want to take poor Manny Cohen the tailor and shove him in a gas chamber. That's what the public would think. It wouldn't get us anywhere other than stepping backwards. It would lock us in a little box; the public would think "extremist crank lunatics, nothing to do with me." And we wouldn't get power.
 BNP claims of anti-white racism
The BNP accuse the mainstream media and police of devoting less attention to racially motivated violence when the victims are white. The party has frequently cited the cases of Gavin Hopley of Lancashire and Kriss Donald of Glasgow, two young white men whose murderers were Asian, and whose murders the BNP maintains were hate crimes. In the case of Kriss Donald one of his attackers, Daanish Zahid, was later sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of Scotland's first ever racially-aggravated murder .
The BNP conducted a demonstration outside the offices of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) to highlight what it regarded as biased coverage of the Hopley case. The police and the NUJ have rejected the BNP's criticism.
 Fascism and the BNP
 Links to neo-Nazis and paramilitary organisations
While Griffin was still a leading figure in the National Front, he was a close associate of Roberto Fiore, an Italian who, having fled to London, was convicted in absentia of belonging to the Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari, a terror group which was alleged to have carried out the Bologna massacre, killing 85 people and injuring 200 others in the railway station of that town. (Mail on Sunday, 1 July 1985). However, no connection to the bombing was ever proved, and the case is still open.
The violent, openly 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 groups such as Anti-Fascist Action. C18's first publicly-acknowledged terror action was an incendiary attack on a Communist Party premises in March 1992. It was not repudiated by the BNP for nearly two years, until John Tyndall did so in an Organisers Bulletin on 14 December 1993. In his bulletin, Tyndall acknowledged that C18 had set itself up as "the disciplinary enforcement apparatus of the BNP", and claimed that C18 had been infiltrated by state informers.
When Tyndall was still chairman, the BNP's 1995 national rally was addressed by Dr. William Pierce, the then head of the US National Alliance. Pierce wrote The Turner Diaries, which allegedly inspired Timothy McVeigh to carry out his Oklahoma city bombing, killing 168 people. The American Friends of the BNP, a party offshoot headed by Mark Cotterill, was still having extensive contacts with the much more extreme National Alliance as recently as 2003, as documented at length by Nick Ryan in his book Homeland: Into A World of Hate. 
Redwatch, a website that publicises the names and addresses of left-wing activist, and has led to death threats and harassment, was set up by ex-BNP member Simon Sheppard in 2001. The BNP has warned its members not to use the website.
David Copeland, who exploded a nail bomb at the Admiral Duncan pub in the heart of London's gay community, was a former BNP member. Though the BNP distanced itself from Copeland, Griffin wrote in the aftermath of the bombing that the gay people protesting against the murders were "flaunting their perversion in front of the world's journalists, [and] showed just why so many ordinary people find these creatures disgusting" (Spearhead magazine, June 1999).
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. Similarly, Griffin urges white nationalist oriented youth to join the BNP and use the ballot box instead of violence to achieve political aims. 
 Homosexuality and the BNP
The BNP had traditionally maintained a policy of re-criminalisation of homosexuality. However, since 2004, their position on the topic has changed. The BNP's policy on homosexuality is now that it should be 'tolerated', as long as it remains private and between consenting adults. Indeed, they have openly stated that they are happy to have homosexual party members Despite this, the party still opposed the introduction of civil partnerships in the United Kingdom.
Explaining the BNP's stance, BNP Press Officer Phil Edwards stated that homosexuality "is unnatural" and "does not lead to procreation but does lead to moral turpitude and disease". Thus, alongside the fact that "it undermines social/marital cohesion by adding confusion", the BNP would make it unlawful to promote homosexuality and "return it to the closet where it belongs". The BNP are particularly worried about the possibility of homosexuality being promoted in schools.
In the run-up to the 2005 general election it was reported that Richard Barnbrook, then the BNP candidate for Barking, had produced and directed a homoerotic student art film in 1989. The story was picked up by the mainstream press after the 2006 local elections, when Barnbrook a councillor and the BNP's London leader. Although some portrayed this as gay pornography, Barnbrook and the BNP claimed that the film was artistic, and about "sexuality, not homosexuality"
Despite this, some members of the BNP have shown hostitility to homosexuals. For example, Mark Collett, chairman of Young BNP, described homosexuals as "AIDS Monkeys", "bum bandits" and "faggots" and said the idea of homosexuality was a "sickening thought". 
 Violence and criminal behaviour
Historically the BNP has been associated in the public mind with violent protest and clashes with anti-BNP organizations. Critics of the BNP assert that a significant minority of elected BNP politicians have criminal records and that the party is more tolerant of the criminal actions of some of its members than other parties would be. .
In the past, Nick Griffin has defended the threat of violence in furthering the party's aims. After the BNP won its first council seat in 1993, he wrote: "The electors of Millwall did not back a postmodernist rightist party, but what they perceived to be a strong, disciplined organisation with the ability to back up its slogan 'Defend Rights for Whites' with well-directed boots and fists. When the crunch comes, power is the product of force and will, not of rational debate." In 1997, believing he was addressing members of the French Front National, he said: It is more important to control the streets of a city than its council chambers."  In January 1986, when Griffin was Deputy Chair of the NF, he advised his audience at an anti-IRA rally to use the "traditional British methods of the brick, the boot and the fist."
The BNP defends itself by arguing that over 20% of the working population has some criminal record or another and that a large proportion of MPs, councillors and activists in the other three main parties are hardly in many cases a shining example either.
A BBC Panorama programme reported on a number of BNP members who have had criminal convictions, some racially motivated. The BBC's list was extensive and to reproduce it here in its entirety would be superfluous. However, some of the more notable convictions include:
- In 1998, Nick 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.
- Kevin Scott, the BNP's North East regional organiser, has two convictions for assault and using threatening words and behaviour.
- Joe Owens, a BNP candidate in Merseyside and former bodyguard to Nick Griffin, has served eight months in prison for sending razor blades in the post to Jewish people and another term for carrying CS gas and knuckledusters.
- Tony Wentworth, BNP student organiser, was convicted alongside Mr Owens for assaulting demonstrators at an anti-BNP event in 2003.
- Colin Smith, BNP South East London organiser has 17 convictions for burglary, theft, stealing cars, possession of drugs and assaulting a police officer
- Tony Lecomber was jailed for possessing explosives in 1985, after a nail bomb exploded while he was carrying it to the offices of the Workers' Revolutionary Party ; and again for three years in 1991, for assaulting a Jewish teacher who was removing a BNP sticker at a London Underground station . He was Propaganda Director of the BNP at the time of the latter conviction. He was Nick Griffin's key deputy in the party from 1999 until January 2006.) Nick Griffin has written of the latter conviction is that "in reality he defended himself after being attacked by a far-left thug who was a close comrade of the IRA 'active service unit' that planted the Harrod's Bomb" and that "Tony Lecomber is no longer even a member of the British National Party". Martin Webster and Joe Owens have both asserted that Lecomber's departure from the party followed his failed attempt to recruit Owens to murder members of the political establishment. See article on Tony Lecomber for details.
In October 2006 former BNP election candidate Robert Cottage "was arrested under the Explosives Act on suspicion of possessing chemicals that may be capable of making an explosion."  Cottage's party membership was reported to have lapsed at the time of the arrest. The case is still before the courts.
 Opposition to the BNP
The BNP is condemned by all sections of the mainstream media, including right-wing newspapers, such as the 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. 
Following pressure from Trevor Phillips, Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality , the major parties stand candidates in seats that they are unlikely to win. This is designed to enhance the choice available to voters in the expectation that this will reduce the BNP vote. 
In the run up to the May 2006 local council elections, Labour employment minister Margaret Hodge claimed that 8 out of 10 voters in her constituency were thinking of voting for the BNP. When the BNP subsequently took 12 seats out of 13 contested in her Barking constituency, local Labour activists responded by blaming Hodge, crediting her with generating hundreds of extra votes for the BNP. 
Amongst the most visible and vocal opponents of the BNP and other radical right-wing groups are Unite Against Fascism and Searchlight. Unite Against Fascism, which aims to unite the broadest possible spectrum to oppose the BNP and the far-right, includes the Anti-Nazi League (ANL), the National Assembly Against Racism (NAAR), and the Student Assembly Against Racism (SAAR). It also includes faith and community leaders and politicians from the Labour Party, the Conservative Party (e.g., David Cameron), RESPECT, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, the Socialist Workers Party and the United Kingdom Independence Party. Searchlight magazine has monitored the activities of the BNP and its members for many years, and has published many articles highly critical of them.
Some opponents of fascism call for no positive coverage to be given to groups or individuals enunciating what they describe as "hate speech". Such a tactic states that the BNP and similar parties should be ignored by both rival politicians and the media. A more militant position is that of "No Platform", which seeks to deny fascist hate speech any sort of platform. The policy is most commonly associated with university student unions and debating societies, but has also resulted in BNP candidates being banned from speaking at various hustings meetings around the country.
Examples of the "no platform" policy being operated include:
- Complaints directed at the Leeds Student newspaper after it published a full-page article/interview with Nick Griffin. The Leeds Unite Against Fascism (LUAF) group accused the publication of breaching Leeds University Students' Union 'No Platform' policy, whereby extremist organisations are prohibited from expressing their views on campus. 
- An invitation to Nick Griffin by the University of St Andrews Union Debating Society to participate in a debate on multiculturalism was condemned , then withdrawn after protests and threats against the organisers .
Examples of more direct action against the BNP include obstruction of BNP activists who set up stalls in shopping centres. For example, members of the Scottish Socialist Party in Edinburgh blockaded and forced a BNP publicity stall to close.  Anti-Fascist Action is the group most associated with this sort of direct action, criticised by more liberal anti-fascists (for example in the Anti-Nazi League) as squadism.
The BNP claim that such cases exemplify how political correctness is being used to silence them and suppress their right to freedom of speech. 
The Anti-Nazi League-organised Love Music Hate Racism group held a concert in Trafalgar Square ahead of the 2006 local elections, aimed at getting people not to vote for the BNP, with 50,000 people attending according to the organiser while Scotland Yard put the number substantially lower at just 3,000.
 BNP front groups and affiliated organisations
The BNP has used various front organisations to give the impression of wider support for its activities, and in an attempt to access potential supporters. By their very nature, front groups are usually denied as such by both the organizations behind them and the groups themselves, so any attempt to identify them is a matter of judgement. Additionally it is possible that some groups have points of policy in common but operate independently. Nevertheless, it is arguable (because of common organizers) that the following operate as BNP fronts:
- Solidarity – The Union for British Workers (denied to be a front by both the BNP and Solidarity's president, Patrick Harrington; see article for details)
- Civil Liberty (UK) (see article for details)
- The Christian Council of Britain, which was set up by BNP members and supporters to organise among Christians "in defence of traditional Christian values". Mainstream Christian groups have criticised the BNP for "using Christianity to further their agenda of segregation and division."
Unlike the above groups, which purport to be independent, the following organisations are officially linked to or part of the BNP:
- The Trafalgar Club is the BNP fund-raising club and the name it uses to book hotels and conference facilities.
- The BNP Ethnic Liaison Committee is an organisation of which people from the ethnic minorities can become members. The committee have joined with BNP members in staging demonstrations in the past.
- Great White Records, a record label described by the BNP as "a patriotic label" launched in January 2006. It launched a campaign to introduce folk music to schoolchildren. Most of the songs sung by Doncaster folkster Lee Haggan, have been written by Nicholas Griffin himself .
- Albion Life Insurance was set up in September 2006  as an insurance brokerage company on behalf of the BNP. Its stated aim is to 'secure a robust financial situation for the BNP'. The officers of Albion Life are all members of the British National Party.
 Affiliated parties
The BNP and the French Front National have co-operated on numerous occasions. Jean-Marie Le Pen visited the UK in 2004 to assist launching the BNP's European Parliament campaign , and Nick Griffin repaid the favour by sending a delegation of BNP officials to the FN's annual 'First of May Joan of Arc parade' in Paris last year .
The BNP also has links with Germany's Nationaldemokratische Partei National Democratic Party. Griffin addressed a NPD rally in August 2002, headed by Udo Voigt, who Gerhard Schroeder accused of trying to remove immigrants from Eastern Germany. NPD activists have attended BNP events in Britain. 
Sweden's National Democrat Party (Nationaldemokraterna). In the run-up to the 2004 European Parliament election campaign, Nick Griffin visited Sweden to give that party his endorsement. Members of the Swedish National Democrats were present at the BNP's Red White and Blue rally which took place over the weekend of 20-21 August 2005.
 Previous British National Parties
The current use of the name British National Party is its fourth 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.
A second British National Party also emerged in 1960 and went on to form a part of the NF.
 See also
- ^ The BNP: Anti-asylum protest, racist sect or power-winning movement? Nick Griffin, Accessed June 3, 2006
- ^ Election Resources:Parliamentary Elections in the UK Accessed July 14, 2006
- ^ BNP election manifesto, 2005
- ^ BNP election manifesto, 2005 op cit
- ^ Peter Barberis, John McHugh and Mike Tyldesley, Encyclopaedia of British and Irish Political Organizations, Pinter, 2000, p. 661
- ^ N. Copsey, Contemporary British Fascism: The British National Party and the Quest for Legitimacy, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004, p. 22
- ^ Ray Hill with Andrew Bell, "The Other Face of Terror, Grafton, 1988. ISBN 0-586-06935-6
- ^ Martin Harrison in The British General Election of 1983, Macmillan 1983, p. 155
- ^ "Tyndall's race policy", The Times, June 4, 1983, p. 5
- ^ David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh, The British General Election of 1983, Macmillan 1983, p. 354
- ^ Barberis, McHugh and Tyldesley, op cit, p. 594
- ^ Richard Thurlow, "Fascism in Britain", I.B. Tauris, 1998, p. 258
- ^ "Police kept rally secret", The Times, August 2, 1984, p. 2
- ^ London Research Centre, "By-election results to the London Borough Councils 1990-94", p. 68-69
- ^ See, e.g., letter to The Guardian September 15, 1992 from Richard Adams, John Austin, Diane Abbott and Len Duvall
- ^ Rajeev Syal and Tim Rayment, "Rioters clash with police over neo-Nazi bookshop", Sunday Times, October 17, 1993
- ^ Cohen, Nick (2001-07-01). Fist in the kid glove (HTML). Race in Britain. The Observer. Retrieved on 2006-07-16.
- ^ For example John Tyndall, "The Problem is Mr Griffin" in Spearhead, October 2003
- ^ Simon Hughes interview with Juliane Worricker on BBC Radio 5 Live, 7 May 2006
- ^ Nick Ryan, "Green and Unpleasant Land", The Times, 10 April 1999
- ^ Chairman Nick Griffin's analysis of the 2005 general election
- ^ Jon Craig and Jo Revill, "Holocaust hate sheet alarms British Jews", Sunday Times, 6 March 1988
- ^ See for example Dave Hann and Steve Tilzey, No Retreat: the secret war between Britain's anti-fascists and the far right (2003). ISBN 1-903854-22-9
- ^ Larry O’Hara, "Combat 18 & MI5", in Lobster 30 (December 1995)
- ^ Larry O'Hara, Turning Up the Heat: MI5 after the cold war (1994)
- ^  UKGay.com, Accessed June 7, 2006
- ^ BNP Welcomes Homosexuals Rainbow Network, Accessed June 9, 2006
- ^ BNP applaud Western Isles Registrars The BNP, Accessed June 8, 2006
- ^ Emails to/from the BNP Manchester University Labour Club, Accessed June 9, 2006
- ^ Gay Rights Lobby Target Schoolchildren The BNP, Accessed June 8, 2006
- ^ BNP: Homosexuality could become compulsory Pinknews, Accessed June 9, 2006
- ^ 'Gay porn' movie raises ripples on far right The Guardian, Accessed June 9, 2006
- ^ RE:Brand Episode 2 "Naziboy" [Part 2 of 3]
- ^ Yorkshire Post, 17 February 1986
- ^ "On the seamier side: the shadow of racist politics", The Economist, 7 December 1991
- ^ S. Taylor, The National Front in English Politics, London: Macmillan, 1982
 External links
 Official party sites
 Opposition to BNP
|Political parties in the United Kingdom|
|Represented in the House of Commons (646) :||
Labour (354) | Conservatives (198) | Liberal Democrats (63) | DUP (9) | SNP (6) | Sinn Féin (0#) | Plaid Cymru (3) | SDLP (3) | Ind KHHC (1) | Independent (1) | Independent Labour (1) | Respect (1) | UUP (1)
|Represented in the House of Lords (741) :||
Labour (213) | Conservatives (210) | Cross-bencher (196) | Liberal Democrats (79) | Greens (E&W) (1) | Bishops (26) | Non affiliated (13) | Conservative Independent (1) | Independent Labour (1) | Independent (1)
|Represented in the Scottish Parliament (129):|
|Represented in the National Assembly for Wales (60):|
|Represented in the Northern Ireland Assembly (108) [Suspended]|
|Represented in the London Assembly (25):|
|Represented in the European Parliament (72 out of 732):||
Conservatives (ED, 26) | Labour (PES, 19) | Liberal Democrats (ELDR, 12) | UKIP (ID, 10) | Greens (E&W) (EGP, 2) | SNP (EFA, 2) | DUP (ED, 1) | Plaid Cymru (EFA, 1) | Sinn Féin (EUL, 2†) | UUP (ED, 1) | Independent (NA, 2)
|Notes||#Sinn Féin have six elected members, but as abstentionist have no representation
† Sinn Féin's second seat is held in the Republic of Ireland