British National Party members have been accused of being ashamed of themselves after their leader told them to hide their support for the controversial group.
In an email to members and supporters, party chairman Nick Griffin told them to "try and avoid" owning up to being BNP supporters when writing to complain about the treatment of two activists.
An emailed newsletter, entitled "Adam Walker needs our help" seeks donations and calls for letters of complaint in support of teachers Adam and Mark Walker who have stood as BNP candidates in elections.
Adam Walker, described by the BNP as a 'super activist', is accused of religious intolerance by the General Teaching Council (GTC) and could be struck off the teaching register if found guilty. He left Houghton Kepier Sports College in Houghton-le-Spring, near Sunderland in 2007 after it was alleged he used a school laptop to contribute racist and religiously intolerant views to online discussions during lessons.
His brother Mark, lost an appeal against his sacking from Sunnydale College, Shildon, County Durham after being accused of accessing the BNP's website during school hours.
Mr Griffin, who was elected as MEP for the North West region in June, calls on BNP supporters to email or telephone the GTC to protest about fascist harrasment", but without admitting their political affiliation.
"We need all our supporters to contact the General Teaching Council and protest in the most determined way," he says. "When complaining, please be articulate, polite and sensible and try and avoid stating that you are a BNP supporter."
Former Education Secretary David Blunkett said Mr Griffin's comments show that BNP members are ashamed of themselves. "It's not surprising that decent people are ashamed of the BNP when the BNP have demonstrated very clearly by this that they are ashamed of themselves," he said.