Far-right group Britain was first allowed to register as a political party by the Election Commission
Far-right group Britain First was allowed to re-register as a political party by the Election Commission.
The watchdog said an official request “meets the legal criteria” despite the fact that leader Paul Golding has been convicted of a terrorist offense and hate crimes.
In a statement, Britain First pledged to field candidates for the next election as a “political party in its own right”.
“This is an extraordinary victory for the Britain First movement,” an email told supporters.
“While our street activities will continue, today marks the birth of Britain First as a traditional political party that will lead the fight to the establishment through the ballot box.”
Britain First was a political party from 2010 until it was struck off by the Election Commission in 2017 for administrative reasons.
He rose to fame for his “mosque invasions” and other activism targeting Muslims, and was condemned by the government after Donald Trump shared Britain First’s tweets in 2017.
At the time, Britain First had a large following on Twitter and over 2 million likes on Facebook, but the pages have since been deleted.
Its official registration as a political party was announced on Monday, hours after Golding, 39, and his former deputy Jayda Fransen, 35, agreed to pay “substantial damages” to settle a defamation case.
The High Court learned that they falsely claimed that the Halal Food Authority and two employees were involved in terrorist financing in February 2017, and offered no defense to the resulting libel claim.
Golding and Fransen were both jailed for harassment aggravated by religion in March 2018, after filming and harassing innocent Muslim victims whom they mistakenly believed to be involved in a rape trial.
In May last year, Golding was convicted of a terrorism law violation for denying police access to his phone and computer when he was arrested on his way home. to UK from Russia.
Britain’s first leaders jail for anti-Muslim hate crime
He is listed as the leader of Britain First on the Election Commission website, while Treasurer Tim Burton was convicted of harassing a hate crimes activist in 2017.
The independent understands that their beliefs are not an obstacle to registration as party leader under the electoral law.
The registration process does not include an assessment of political or political opinions, although the Election Commission must verify any constitution or membership policy as part of its duty of equality in the public sector.
There have been previous calls for Britain First to be banned following attacks by its supporters.
Finsbury Park terrorist Darren Osborne read documents from far-right activists, including Fransen and Golding, before ramming a van into Muslim worshipers in June 2017.
A few days later, Britain First supporter Marek Zakrocki drove his car into a restaurant after telling his wife he wanted to ‘kill a Muslim’ and that he was ‘doing this for Britain’.
The extremist, who also carried a kitchen knife and a Nazi coin, had donated to Britain First and police found the group’s flyers at his home.
A spokesperson for the Election Commission said: “Britain First’s application to register as a political party has been approved. We have assessed this request against criteria defined by law, including consideration of the public comments submitted to us. The party’s application met the legal criteria and the party was therefore registered.
In 2019, Britain First was fined over £ 44,000 for multiple electoral law violations including undeclared donations and failure to provide proper documents or financial accounts.
At the time, the Election Commission said it had shown “disregard for the law” and “a disappointing lack of transparency on the party’s finances”.
Britain First tried to take legal action against the Election Commission over its refusal to register the group as a political party in Northern Ireland, but the case was dismissed by a Belfast judge in March.