Griffin to hear contempt verdict

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BNP leader Nick Griffin will learn whether he has been found guilty of contempt of court

BNP leader Nick Griffin learns on Friday whether he has been found guilty of contempt of court.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission accused him at the High Court of failing to comply with a county court judgment ordering the removal of potentially racist clauses from his party’s constitution.

Robin Allen QC, appearing for the watchdog, said the BNP was “playing with” the commission and its officials instead of obeying the judgment.

The commission asked Lord Justice Moore-Bick and Mr Justice Ramsey, sitting in London, to take action against Mr Griffin, BNP deputy Simon Darby and party officer Tanya Lumby.

It wants fines imposed, or possibly the sequestration of party assets.

At the time of the contempt application in November, Mr Griffin was in hospital with suspected kidney stones and was described by a BNP spokesperson as being “in extreme pain”.

The application stemmed from a ruling that the BNP constitution breached discrimination laws because of a clause banning non-white members.

The constitution underwent revision, but last March Judge Paul Collins ruled at Central London County Court that the new version was indirectly discriminatory against those of mixed-race, because it required party applicants to oppose “any form of integration or assimilation of … the indigenous British”.

Another section required new members to submit to a two-hour vetting visit at their home by BNP officials, which Judge Collins ruled could be seen as “intimidatory”.

The judge ordered both sections to be removed from the constitution.

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