Home News Leader of BNP to participate in televised debate on BBC’s ‘Question Time’

Leader of BNP to participate in televised debate on BBC’s ‘Question Time’

Published on 22/10/2009

London -- The far-right British National Party is likely to open membership to non-whites and people of all faiths after being taken to court, lawyers said Thursday.

The move means that the BNP, which took six percent of the vote at the European Parliament elections in June, will most probably change its "indigenous Caucasian" membership requirement.

Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) had issued proceedings against the BNP over its membership criteria.

The commission’s lawyer Robin Allen told Central London County Court that BNP leader Nick Griffin had agreed to present party members with a revised constitution at its general meeting next month.

The BNP agreed to use "all reasonable endeavours" to revise its constitution so it did not discriminate on the Equality Bill’s "protected characteristics", which include race, gender and religious belief.

John Wadham of the EHRC said: "We are pleased the party has conceded this case and agreed to all of the commission requirements. Political parties, like any other organisation, are obliged to respect the law and not discriminate against people.

"We will be monitoring the BNP’s compliance with this court order on membership, and its other legal obligations, including to its constituents."

Formed in 1982, the BNP says it exists "to secure a future for the indigenous peoples of these islands in the North Atlantic which have been our homeland for millennia."

Its current rules say: "Membership of the BNP is strictly defined within the terms of, and our members also self-define themselves within, the legal ambit of a defined ‘racial group’, this being ‘indigenous Caucasian’ and defined ‘ethnic groups’ emanating from that race."

Griffin and fellow party member Andrew Brons were elected to the European Parliament in June, the first time the BNP had been voted into a legislature.

The BNP leader is to take part in BBC television’s top political debate show "Question Time" on October 22, the first time a BNP member has been invited on the panel.

The decision has sparked controversy and saw mainstream parties change tack and agree to share a platform with the BNP.


Discuss issues concerning the BNP in the UK forum.

BBC Question Time: 10:35pm. Thursday 22 October 2009

The BNP’s response to media claims can be read here. Please follow these links for more information. About the British National Party. About BBC Question Time.