September 02, 2009

BNP in court over membership rules

The BNP: up in court today for its whites-only membership rule
A legal action against the British National Party about ethnic restrictions on its membership is due in court.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) issued county court proceedings against the far-right party on August 24 after voicing concerns in June about its constitution and membership criteria. The party's membership criteria appeared to be restricted to those within certain ethnic groups and to white people, according to the EHRC.

The BNP responded by saying that it intended to clarify the word "white" on its website, but the Commission said it believed the party will continue to discriminate against potential or actual members on racial grounds.

"The BNP's membership criteria appear to restrict membership to those within what the BNP regards as particular "ethnic groups" and those whose skin colour is white. This exclusion is contrary to the Race Relations Act.

"The Commission believes the BNP's constitution and membership criteria are discriminatory and, further, that the continued publication of them on the BNP website is unlawful. It has therefore issued county court proceedings against party leader Nick Griffin and two other officials," said the Commission in a statement.

John Wadham, legal director at the Equality and Human Rights Commission said: "The BNP has said that it is not willing to amend its membership criteria which we believe are discriminatory and unlawful.

"The Commission has a statutory duty to use our regulatory powers to enforce compliance with the law, so we have today issued county court proceedings against the BNP. However, the party still has an opportunity to resolve this quickly by giving the undertaking on its membership criteria that the Commission requires."

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Anonymous said...

This should have been done years ago. Why did they wait till now when the free publicity is likely to benefit the BNP in the run up to a general election?

Or have I missed something?

Anonymous said...

From Yahoo News:

Anonymous said...

Good news from East Lancs: lancashiretelegraph

" THE British National Party is being frustrated in its attempts to find a base in East Lancashire, according to its leader.

Nick Griffin claimed the far-right party had been on the verge of sealing deals for 20 premises across the North West but landlords had pulled the plug at the last minute. "

Jamie The Antifascist said...

Supposing that the BNP is forced to change it's whites-only rule, it would make a great shock-doc or whistle-blower, to show the nation the true fascist heart of the BNP, if one (of a different race) was to infiltrate them...

-Didn't the last one(made by the BBC) lead to about 3-4 arrests?

Anonymous said...

Adjourned for six weeks

The BNP are playing for time and will spin this out for all its worth

eric the fish said...

...and cue the begging letters!

"The next few months will be critical to the Party's future. We have to defeat the Equalities Commission's attempt to criminalise our Party, but fighting court cases does not come cheap. That's why I am asking EVERYONE receiving this email bulletin to text the word 'DONATE' to 60777."

"I need you to do this immediately - yes RIGHT NOW. At the moment we need every penny that can be spared for our legal fight back, not to mention the routine running costs in keeping one of the largest political organisations in the country ticking over."

The Swiss Bank account must be bulging by now. The email gives the number 4 times. I know BNP members tend to be special needs, but this not very subtle.

Anonymous said...

I am not convinced that this is the right course of action. And the last paragraph kinda re-inforces my thinking.

If the Commission has a duty to enforce as is stated why have they left it for so long?