Judge rules in favour of EHRC in BNP case

Despite the British National Party (BNP) amending their constitution to allow Black and Minority Ethnic members to join the party, the courts have ordered a suspension of all memberships.

The far right party had agreed to change their white’s only membership criteria following a court hearing back in 28 January 2010. But in doing so it also introduced restrictive membership criteria.

Clauses were introduced which required new members to be against mixed race relationships, in favour of repatriating minority communities and in agreement to a home visit from two existing BNP members to approve membership applications. The Equality Human Rights Commission argued successfully that such clauses now had shifted direct discrimination to indirect discrimination still preventing ethnic minorities from joining the party.

Judge Paul Collins of the Central London County Court ordered the BNP to remove two clauses from its constitution, as well as paying an estimated £100’000 in costs they have been asked to return and satisfy the court that the racist clauses have been removed.
The EHRC instigated the legal challenge due to the BNP’s non compliance over original membership criteria being a breach of race equality laws. The Commission has a statutory duty, under the Equality Act 2006, to enforce the provisions of the Act.


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