BNP Membership List Contains 30 Convicted Criminals
THE leaked British Nationalist Party (BNP) membership list "contains at least thirty convicted criminals" THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH has revealed today.
The list was leaked earlier this week to widespread controversy as the party has long been linked to the dicredited National Front (NF) and sinister European fascist organisations.
A report in the TIMES last year revealed that far from being a party that believes in democracy, members were witnessed listening to "Nazi marching songs" at their Red White and Blue annual festival.
The full membership list is now in the public domain here:
However, The Sunday Telegraph has discovered that at least 30 people named on the list have criminal convictions. And there are thought to be many more.
The party still has dozens of members on its books who have been convicted of violent offences and others who have been involved with neo-fascist groups such as Combat 18 and the Ku Klux Klan.
While some members have in the past been expelled from the BNP after being found guilty of violence, others have not only been allowed to retain their membership, but remain active figures within the party.
Among the BNP's members is Neil Keilty, who has a string of convictions dating back to 1987, including threatening behaviour, criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon. In 1994, Keilty, who lives near Birmingham, was sentenced to one year for his part in an attack on a pub in London. He has a long history of involvement with extreme Right-wing groups, such as the National Front and Friends of Oswald Mosley, and has twice been banned from football grounds for hooligan behaviour.
In the same week that the list was leaked online – reportedly by an aggrieved party activist – two BNP members from Blackburn, both of whose names appear in the document, were jailed for a total of five years and three months for sexual activity with under-age girls. Ian Hindle, 32, and Andrew Wells, 49, plied two 14-year-olds with alcohol before taking advantage of them, Preston Crown Court heard.
Still, mainstream politicians have been shaken by the list's publication. Yesterday, the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Hazel Blears, voiced concern at the inroads made by the BNP.
She said that, with Griffin at the helm, the party had "started a process of detoxification", which had enabled it to expand beyond its traditional base of disaffected working-class voters. Having "claimed to be respectable, mainstream and democratic", it had begun to attract "all kinds of people".
Party membership remains tiny – the list contained fewer than 13,000 names. But it highlighted an uncomfortable truth: that the party's "cunning strategy" (as Blears described it) to appeal to those who feel ostracised by mainstream politics is gaining traction.
Griffin, an erudite Cambridge law graduate, has indeed turned the party from an irrelevant and roundly derided motley crew into something that – until the amateurish leaking of the membership list last week – had been looking worryingly credible.