Controversial far-right group Britain First officially registers as political party
The far-right group Britain First has officially registered as a political party, it has been confirmed by the BBC.
The controversial group’s application has been approved by the Electoral Commission, and party leader Paul Golding has said he is “ecstatic” about the news.
He said he will now start “building the electoral arm of our party”.
This comes after the party was deregistered in 2017 after failing to renew its registration on time.
A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission has confirmed that the party’s application has “met the legal criteria”, after assessing whether the group complies with legal obligations and that their proposed names, descriptions and emblems do not risk misleading or confusing voters.
Parties also need to be able to prove that their constitutions or membership policies do not breach equalities law.
The Electoral Commission does not consider a group’s political views when deciding whether or not to register a party.
Britain First is known for its campaigns with anti-immigration messages, even calling for a ban on all further immigration except in specific cases.
The group has built up a large sum of online followers, attracting global attention when one of its anti-Islamic videos was retweeted by the then-US President, Donald Trump.
Despite this, the group has not performed as well electorally, securing only 1.2 percent of the vote when Mr Golding stood in the 2016 London mayoral election.
They also made headlines when in 2018, Facebook removed the group’s pages saying it had repeatedly violated its community standards.
The decision came shortly after Mr Golding and the party’s deputy leader, Jayda Fransen, were found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment.
In 2019, the group was fined £44,200 by the Electoral Commission for “multiple breaches” of electoral law, including a failure to keep accurate financial records or donation reports.