EHRC legal action against BNP

On 17 December 2010, the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) legal action against the British National Party (BNP) concluded with a judgment in the High Court.

In March the County Court ruled that the BNP’s constitution was racially discriminatory. The BNP Chairman, Nick Griffin failed to properly implement that judgment until EHRC took proceedings in the High Court. The BNP sought to have the County Court order overturned in the High Court but withdrew their application before the hearing and carried out the actions required by the order and revised their constitution. However, the BNP’s revised constitution had additional conditions for membership. The EHRC submitted that the revised constitution failed to comply with the order because these conditions were discriminatory and limited rights of certain members, such as the right to vote or attend meetings. In the high court on 17 December, the High Court did not rule in favour of EHRC on one technical point relating to home visits to BNP members by party officials. However, the BNP conceded 95% of EHRC’s case and made the required changes. EHRC will continue to monitor any changes to the BNP constitution to ensure membership is made genuinely accessible. If EHRC considers that it is not, it will take a view on whether further regulatory action is necessary.

Click here for EHRC statement