Jan 12, 2016

BNP Deregistered as a Political Party

via Britannia

The BNP is removed from the official list of political parties after its vote collapsed by 99.7 per cent and it failed to pay £25 fee
  • In 2009 the far right party had two MEPs and more than 50 councillors
  • But in 2015 it mustered just eight candidates at the general election
  • The party collapsed amid infighting, including the expulsion of Nick Griffin 
  • The Electoral Commission has now removed them from the official list
  • BNP claims it will submit the paperwork within days to get back on register 
The BNP has been removed from the official list of political parties after failing to renew its registration with the Electoral Commission - a process which would have cost just £25.

It means the party name and logo cannot appear next to any candidate on any ballot paper on election day - but the party blamed a 'clerical error' which would be corrected.

The far right party has collapsed in recent years and stood just eight candidates at the 2015 general election - all unsuccessfully as the party's national vote share dived by 99.7 per cent.

The Electoral Commission said today all parties have a maximum of six months from the deadline for submission of their account to re-register as a party.

This date passed for the BNP yesterday meaning it can no longer stand party candidates.

The Electoral Commission said: 'The Electoral Commission did not receive the notification by this date and is required by law to remove the BNP from its register of political parties in Great Britain.

Now that the party has been removed from the register, BNP candidates cannot, at present, use the party's name, descriptions or emblems on the ballot paper at elections.

'The party can, however, submit an application to re-register at any time and their name, descriptions and emblems are protected under PPERA for two years to prevent other parties using them.

'Any application will be considered by the Commission in line with its usual processes for assessing new applications to register political parties.' 

BNP spokesman Stephen Squire said it was a 'clerical error on our part' and that the party would submit the necessary paperwork within the next few days.

'It's a little bit embarrassing,' he said, but insisted it would be 'business as usual' for the party, which intended to contest the London mayoral election and some council seats.

He added: 'We've been overwhelmed by the number of phone calls we've had from people concerned we might be disappearing.' 

In October 2014, the BNP announced ex-leader Nick Griffin, 55, had been 'expelled from membership' amid claims that he had attempted to cause 'disunity' within the party.

In a damning letter, Adam Walker, the current BNP chairman, alleged that Mr Griffin had attempted to spread 'lies' about the party and had 'harrass[ed]' current members.

An hour and a half after the statement was released on the party's website, the former politician, who had led the BNP for 15 years, took to Twitter to speak out against the decision.

He wrote: 'Breaking news! I've just been 'expelled' without trial from the #BNP! That'll teach me to tell a member of staff he's a 'useless, lazy t***'.'

Moments later, he compared the BNP to the former Sovet Union tweeting: 'Only thing is that the ruling Wigton Soviet are operating outside the constitution so I shall ignore their plastic gangster games.'

Mr Griffin stepped down from his leadership of the BNP in July this year, after losing his seat as an MEP, but was given an honorary title of President. He had declared bankruptcy months before leaving the group.

The Electoral Commission today confirmed the BNP's removal from the official register of political parties on Twitter 

Despite the ruling, an account purporting to represent the BNP was still recruiting for members today

In 1997 he was handed a suspended prison sentence after being convicted of inciting racial hatred. Mr Griffin was ousted from the party following a review by its conduct committee.

Mr Jefferson, a member of the committee who did not provide his first name, said: 'This has been a difficult decision to make and not one taken lightly.

'Although we all appreciate that Nick has achieved a lot for our Party in the past, we must also remember that the Party is bigger than any individual.

'Nick did not adjust well to being given the honourary title of President and it soon became obvious that he was unable to work as an equal member of the team and alarmingly his behaviour became more erratic and disruptive.' 

Earlier in 2014, former leader Mr Griffin had lost his seat in the European Parliament and the party was reduced to just two local councillors.

It had stood 330 candidates at the 2010 election following a decade when it appeared it had made a 'breakthrough', securing a London Assembly seat and more than 50 local councillors.

Political parties are legally required to renew their registration every year, including a fee of £25.

Ex-leader Nick Griffin lost his European Parliament seat in 2014 and was expelled from the party later that year. The BNP vote collapsed by 99.7 per cent at the 2015 general election.

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