A former Scottish secretary of the BNP has denied he is responsible for leaking the membership list which has triggered calls for some members to be sacked from their public sector jobs.
Kenny Smith, who lives in Falkirk, last night said: "There is absolutely no purpose for me in publishing a membership list. I spent my life protecting that information. I value the BNP members and I would never do such a thing. I haven't got the faintest idea who did do it, I honestly don't. I think whoever did it is despicable."
Mr Smith, who was expelled along with several other prominent members of the party last December, said he had been ousted for exposing incompetence and unprofessionalism within the party.
Publication of the 12,000-strong list – which includes around 450 Scots – yesterday led to the departure of Rod Lucas, a TalkSport radio DJ, and an investigation into alleged BNP links of a police constable in Liverpool. In Scotland, the BNP counts a doctor, ex-servicemen, a retired chief inspector and a driving instructor who offers discounts to fellow party members among its supporters.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown's own constituency, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, has a smattering of activists, while numbers are stronger in Glasgow. Two members of the Black Watch are also named on the year-old list.
The leak will worry those whose names are on the list, regardless of whether they work in the public sector or not. While it is legal to be a supporter of the party, its views ignite strong passions and private firms may be embarrassed to find their staff named as supporters of the party. There were reports that members had received abusive phone calls after the list found its way on to the internet.
The NASUWT teaching union said no member of the BNP should be left in charge of a classroom. Chris Keates, the union's general secretary, said: "I believe that the release of this list is nothing more than a cynical attempt by the BNP to present themselves as victims and to gain publicity for their vile agenda."
A ban is already in place on BNP members joining the police force or prison service, for fear of harming race relations. But Downing Street last night refused to be drawn on the position of public sector workers who had also been revealed as BNP members.
"This is really a matter for the relevant public sector professions. In relation to the police, membership of the BNP is prohibited," the Prime Minister's spokesman said.
Meanwhile, the party said the human rights of its activists had been breached. Nick Griffin, the BNP leader, said dissident former party executives suspected of leaking the organisation's membership risked going to prison. However, the National Union of Journalists accused the BNP of "staggering hypocrisy" over claims that the publication of the list of its members had breached their privacy. Jeremy Dear, the general secretary, said the BNP failed to condemn other websites which sought to intimidate journalists who exposed racist views of BNP members.
"We have never heard a single condemnation of this gross breach of privacy or unlawful harassment and intimidation from Nick Griffin or the BNP," he added.