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BNP faces challenge over race law 'bias'.

Byline: ALAN JONES

THE BNP was last night facing the threat of a legal injunction which could lead to fines or even imprisonment over a potential breach of race discrimination law relating to its membership policies.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission gave the far-right party until July 20 to amend its constitution to make sure it did not discriminate against members on grounds of race.

The Commission has received around 50 complaints from members of the public recently about the BNP.

Officials said they believed the BNP's constitution and membership criteria may discriminate on the grounds of race and colour, contrary to the Race Relations Act.

The party's membership criteria appeared to restrict membership to those within what the BNP regarded as particular "ethnic groups" and those whose skin colour was white, according to the Commission.

"This exclusion is contrary to the Race Relations Act which the party is legally obliged to comply with. The Commission therefore thinks that the BNP may have acted, and be acting, illegally.

"The Commission has required the BNP to provide a written undertaking that it will not discriminate contrary to the Race Relations Act in its employment and recruitment policies, procedures and practices," the EHRC said in a statement.

BNP leader Nick Griffin said: "Our legal counsel says that it is very clear that we are a Section 25 / Section 26 exempted organisation because we are here for specific ethnic groups."
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 24, 2009
Words:238
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