06/04/2005

BNP leader charged with racial hatred offences

Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party (BNP), has been charged with four racial hatred offences, police have confirmed.

Mr Griffin, 45, from Welshpool, was one of three people charged with race hate offences after an investigation was launched by West Yorkshire Police following the broadcast of the BBC programme 'The Secret Agent' last July.

Mr Griffin has been charged with four offences of using words or behaviour intended or likely to stir up racial hatred.

The founder of the BNP, John Tyndall, 70, from Brighton has also been charged with two offences of inciting racial hatred, following a speech he made in Burnley in March last year.

Another BNP activist, 24-year-old Mark Collet from Leeds, was also charged with eight counts of inciting racial hatred.

All three men were originally arrested in December 2004 and were answering their bail at Halifax police station today. They have been charged with offences under Section 18 of the Public Order Act 1986.

A 47-year-old Harrogate man was released from his bail last week and police said that no further action would be taken against him.

A crowd of BNP supporters reportedly gathered outside the police station, draped in Union and St George flags.

The three men are due to appear before Leeds Magistrates court tomorrow.

West Yorkshire police said that they had worked "very closely" with the Crown Prosecution Service Casework Directorate during the investigation.

(KmcA/MB)

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