The British National Party has its roots in fascism, anti-Semitism and violence. Despite an attempt by Nick Griffin to change its image, it cannot hide its racist history nor the criminality of its members
– Jon Cruddas MP
The first British National Party was founded during the Second World War, when a handful of former members of the British Union of Fascists took on the name.
Calling for a negotiated peace with Nazi Germany, this anti-Semitic group’s attempted march on the Cenotaph in 1942 was banned by the government. It rapidly disbanded, with its members almost immediately founding the English National Association the following year.
The second British National Party was formed in 1960 by the merger of the far right National Labour Party and the provocative White Defence League, two splinter groups from the League of Empire Loyalists, a pressure group campaigning against the dissolution of the British Empire.
Senior member John Tyndall, a former member of the National Front who believed “Hitler was right”, left in 1962 to set up the National Socialist Movement.
A third British National Party made a brief appearance in the early 1970s, when a National Front activist attempted to organise a group in Leeds.
The current party was founded in 1982 as a merger between the New National Front and the neo-Nazi British Movement. John Tyndall was elected leader.
Mein Kampf is my bible
– John Tyndall
It did not take long for party members to show their true colours, with activist Tony Lecomber jailed for criminal damage before the year was out.
Three years later he was injured by a firework he was carrying to blow up the offices of a rival organisation and three years after that he was back behind bars after attacking a Jewish teacher who removed BNP stickers at a Tube station.
In 1988 the party’s Deputy Leader Richard Edmonds published Holocaust News, claiming the Holocaust was an “evil hoax” and in 1989 the party set up its national headquarters in Welling, Kent, a move that coincided with a dramatic rise in racist attacks in the area.
The party gained support steadily throughout the early 1990s – it led the ‘Defend Rights for Whites’ campaign in Tower Hamlets – and in 1992 formed Combat 18, a paramilitary organisation designed to protect BNP events and attack its enemies.
In September 1993 it won a council seat by seven votes in Millwall ward on the Isle of Dogs in Tower Hamlets (East London) after candidate Derek Beackon blamed local Bangladeshis for housing shortages and lack of services.
I don’t care what the Bengalis think. We are here for the white people. They are the ones being racially attacked. I am only going to represent the white people. I will not represent Asians. I will not do anything for them. They have no right to be in my great country.
– Derek Beackon
Beackon lost his seat the following year.
The party struggled on until 1999 when, just months after being convicted of publishing racially inflammatory material, Nick Griffin defeated John Tyndall in a leadership election and set about transforming the party for electoral success.
But despite Griffin’s best attempts to present the party as respectable and electable, he cannot leave his party’s baggage behind:
2002 BNP Youth leader Mark Collett is captured singing Adolf Hitler’s praises on Channel 4’s undercover Dispatches documentary Young, Nazi and Proud
Young, Nazi and proud – Channel 4 News
BNP youth chief at centre of university row – Salford Advertiser
BNP uses mythical refugees to win white suburb – The Guardian
BNP councillor admits pub assault – BBC News
BNP member loses appeal over Islam poster – The Daily Telegraph
Former BNP Blackburn councillor Robin Evans slams the party, saying: “The local branch was largely made up of football hooligans and drug dealers. I would rather have the current dictatorship [Labour] than the political disaster that is promised from the BNP.”
BNP calls national demonstration outside NUJ headquarters in London to complain about ‘anti-white bias’ in the media
BNP candidate convicted of threatening behaviour
The BNP bullyboy – The Star
White supremacist aids BNP – The Guardian
Jason Gwynne spends six months undercover inside the BNP. The subsequent documentary, The Secret Agent, shows activists fantasising about attacking mosques with rockets and Muslims with guns, together with a speech from Griffin in which he boasts his words could lead to seven years in prison if made public.
The Secret Agent – BBC News
Going undercover in the BNP – BBC News
BNP leaders may face charges after TV exposé of racism – The Guardian
BNP fails to submit audited accounts to Electoral Commission
BNP could face fine over accounts – BBC News
BNP calls for boycott against newspaper advertisers after negative coverage
BNP threatens newspaper’s advertisers – The Guardian
BNP leader held by police over racist remarks – The Guardian
Burnley BNP councillor Brian Turner is convicted of assaulting his wife and a police officer. BNP issues statement saying: “We are not in the business of persecuting our members because the state considers someone guilty.”
BNP slams the effort to raise fund for victims of the Asian tsunami, with party legal advisor Lee Barnes saying: “The public rites of ritual giving in the ‘Cult of Conspicuous Compassion’ that is sweeping Britain like a virus in the wake of the Tsunami disaster is a symptom of our cultural decadence and degeneration . . . I despise being emotionally manipulated by the false media, for as a human being I demand the right to feel sorry for whom I wish.”
Furious mother Angela Sinfield, whose daughter was ‘groomed’ by gangs in Keighley, attacks BNP after her name appears on a party leaflet. “I have never had anything to do with the BNP and never would. They are not a political party, they are a bunch of racists.”
Mother out to seize stronghold of ‘unforgivable’ BNP – The Guardian
Nick Griffin and Yorkshire Organiser Mark Collett are charged with using words or behaviour intended or likely to incite racial hatred, following The Secret Agent.
BNP leader faces race hate charges – The Guardian
Barking Parliamentary candidate Richard Barnbrook claims his tree-planting charity has the support of the Queen, Prince Charles, rock star Sting, Tony Blair, Sir David Attenborough and Liverpool and Everton football clubs. They deny all knowledge.
BNP pair fined for brawl on campus – Manchester Evening News
BNP leader denies race hate charges – The Guardian
Tube driver condemns BNP bombing leaflet – The Guardian
Fallacies of Integration – British National Party (PDF)
Former BNP candidate Roderick Rowley is jailed for 15 months after sending obscene images involving children to others. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender for ten years after admitting at Birmingham Crown Court 14 charges of making indecent photos, four of distributing them and one charge of possessing an image for distribution.
Investigation into Darwen BNP candidate – Blackburn Citizen
Retrial ordered after Griffin walks free – The Guardian
Exposed: BNP’s campaign of lies – The Independent
BNP distributes election leaflets claiming paedophiles are working in Derbyshire schools
Council disputes BNP election material – Derbyshire County Council
BNP race sacking claim dismissed – BBC News
Court upholds reporting of BNP feud
Parity at last – New Statesmen
BNP man warned he is facing prison – This is Lancashire
Chesterfield BNP fundholder Martin Glasgow is jailed for 12 months for a racist assault against an Asian man
Racist brawler loses fight against conviction – The Star
‘Racist’ BNP website closed down – Birmingham Mail
Race abuse councillor under pressure to quit – This is Lancashire
Kaiser Chiefs’ BNP Dispute – ContactMusic.com
Race abuse conviction ‘landmark’ – BBC News
BNP councillor is £3,000 benefit cheat
Mulhall guilty of fiddling £3,000 from taxpayer – Halifax Courier
Retrial begins of BNP leaders accused of stirring racial hatred – The Guardian
Cabinet rethinks race hate laws after jury frees BNP leaders – The Guardian
BNP councillor guilty of assault – Worcester News
BNP man sent racist threats
Grinning BNP man’s Mail shame – Halifax Courier
Violent BNP pub to be bulldozed – Sunday Mercury
BNP organiser attacks “excess of sentimentality” after death of Ivan Cameron
Exposed: ugly face of BNP’s leaders – The Guardian
Racist gunman gets life – The London Paper
Croydon BNP election candidate investigated over immigrants rant – Croydon Advertiser
Ex-BNP man jailed over chemicals – BBC News
BNP councillor booted out for non-attendance
BNP man kicked out – Express & Star
BNP organiser compares Auschwitz to Disneyland
Theme park claim anger – Evening Chronical
BNP fined for late submission of accounts – Electoral Commission
BNP councillors in Barking and Dagenham call for a £2m cut in spending on services for older persons
BNP councillor expelled after helping Muslim
Llysfaen councillor quits the ‘racist’ BNP – North Wales Weekly News
The parents of Rachel Whitear, the 21-year-old who died of a drug overdose in 2000, condemn the BNP for using a picture of their daughter’s corpse in campaign against Muslims.
Rachel Whitear’s parents condemn BNP for using image of their dead daughter in pamphlet – Daily Mail
BNP member covertly poses as police officer – The Times
London Assembly candidate Nick Eriksen writes on his blog: “Rape is simply sex”.
Women more troubled by bag theft than rape, BNP candidate claims – The Evening Standard
Richard Barnbrook wins seat on London Assembly, gaining 5.3% of the vote in the mayoral election
Profile: Richard Barnbrook – BBC News
Victim punched after row over BNP – Swindon Advertiser
BNP members jailed for sex attacks on girls
Evil paedos are secret BNP thugs – News of the World
BNP councillor accused of verbally abusing newspaper reporter - Press Gazette
Anger over BNP’s ‘white history month’ – New Statesman
BNP members told to remove party logo from their blogs to “protect the party from any potentially costly legal challenges”.
Youth Leader Mike Howson takes two young women to meet racist extremists in Sweden. They attend the European Youth Conference in Gothenburg, organised by the National Democratic Youth, the youth wing of the nazi National Democrats. Howson has already caused concern by featuring anti-Semitic videos on his social networking website.
BNP election candidate sent death threats
BNP candidate Charlotte Lewis’s secret criminal past – Croydon Guardian
Kelly Holmes is not fully British, says BNP MEP Andrew Brons – The Daily Telegraph
BNP councillor faces demand to quit over ‘Nazi’ number plate – The Evening Standard
BNP councillor suspended for one month – Channel 4 News
BNP councillor banned from driving blames conspiracy
BNP ‘higher order’ defence fails – BBC News
Residents say BNP councillor has ‘done nothing’ for the area – This is Local London
Non-whites barred from ‘open’ BNP meeting – The Evening Standard
BNP candidate says he will go to his grave wanting his party to remain “white only”
BNP man’s racist vow – Scotsman
BNP warned after accounts are three months overdue
BNP to ‘target patriotic Tory voters after Cameron betrays them’ – The Times
BNP activist charged with explosives and fire arms offences – East Anglian Daily Times
BNP refuses to apologise after ‘hijacking’ VE party picture – Western Mail
BNP would turn on disabled people, warns magazine
Griffin’s politics of hate – Disability Now
BNP threatens to boycott News Shopper’s advertisers – News Shopper
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