A Mansfield 103.2 radio presenter from Morton says he has been wrongly listed as a BNP member – simply because he bought a pin badge from a website linked to the far right political party.
Chris Birks (19), who presents the Saturday Show, was among a group of people from the area named as BNP members on a list published last month. But he told Chad yesterday he had been wrongly put down as a member after buying a £3.50 St George's Cross pin badge as a birthday present for an England fan from a merchandising website, which he did not realise was linked to the BNP.
Mr Birks said he had no idea he had been signed up to the party and contacted officials to say he did not want to be a member because it would have jeopardised his place on the UK Youth Parliament - where young people cannot be linked to any political party.
He said: "It is not that I have got a problem with the BNP, but it would have compromised my position. I have got no problem with the BNP - they are a legally registered party. I was a member for six or seven days and was very surprised to find out my name was on the list. I think they may be that desperate to get members they put me on the list just for buying a pin badge. I rang their membership department after finding out I was on the list and they were very apologetic about it. They said an awful lot of people shouldn't have been on the list."
Details of Mr Birks' alleged involvement with the BNP came to light after Chad was contacted by the anti-fascist magazine Searchlight.
103.2 managing director Tony Delahunty said: "Chris Birks is a valued freelance presenter on this radio station. When he was interviewed originally he was told, as are all presenters, that we are a non-political station and there can be no bias in that direction, in either news or programming. There have been no known breakages of any rule by the presenter and we have not received any complaints whatsoever regarding any party of his programming. We have asked him if he is a member of the BNP as a matter of fact, and he has emphatically denied that beyond the matter of the badge.
"As far as the station is concerned, he will continue to abide by the rules which he has told us he never had any intention of breaking in the first place. As such, unless anyone provides us with direct evidence to the contrary of activities that either break our rules or are illegal, the matter as far as we are concerned is closed."
Mansfield 103.2 refused to deny a rumour that Mr Birks will appear on today's weekly 'Left, Right and Centre' discussion programme with Mr Delahunty, Coun Nick Bennett and Andre Camilleri.
And this week it has emerged former Labour councillor on Shirebrook Town Council, Paul Harford, has now joined the BNP. On the BNP's website it says he was a Labour councillor for 14 years, but announced he had joined the far-right party at the first meeting of a new Bolsover BNP group last week.
He told the meeting: "It is time the hard working taxpaying people of Britain could vote for a party that puts their interests first."
According to the BNP's website, around 60 people attended the meeting in Langwith and many joined the party on the night. And press officer Simon Darby told Chad: "That kind of area is very good for us at the moment and there are groups springing up all over the area. It is certainly a growth area for us."
Chad has been unable to contact Mr Harford for comment.