Searchlight joins Unite Against Fascism (UAF) in welcoming the guilty verdicts on the notorious leaders of the fascist group, Britain First.
Leader Paul Golding and deputy leader Jayda Fransen have been found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment. Both were arrested in May last year for distributing leaflets and posting online videos during a trial at Canterbury Crown Court, where three Muslim men and a teenager were convicted of rape and jailed.
Fransen was accused of going to the Kent home of one of the defendants and shouting racist abuse through the front door.
The judge told Golding and Fransen their words “demonstrated hostility” towards Muslims and the Muslim faith.
On a video played in court, Fransen was seen banging on the door and shouting: “Come out you disgusting racist, come on”.
Judge Justin Barron said the verdict was based on evidence heard in court. He stated Fransen “deliberately associates Muslim men with rape and with immigrants and rape”, creating an “us and them message”.
Britain First, a splinter group from the British National Party, came to prominence this year following US President Trump’s retweeting of their vile views. This was a short term boost. Their conference, held days after the Trump tweets, was in a secret location and had no more than 80 people there. Weyman Bennett, Joint Secretary of UAF said, “Britain First left the BNP, but kept their fascist politics”.
Only last year, Fransen was on a nationalist march in Warsaw, where around 40,000 right-wing and open Nazis marched. She was quoted in Poland saying, “There is a cancer moving through Europe and that is Islam. Our children are being bombed, our children are being groomed and our government does nothing.”
Fascist organisations are growing, particularly when mainstream politicians such as Trump and others in Europe, ape far-right rhetoric, in relation to refugees, for instance. Anti-fascists have worn BF down and it is high time that they be held responsible for hate speech.
The fascist killer of Jo Cox MP, shouted out, “Britain First” as he carried out his foul deed. Searchlight has further information here.
Britain First was set up by Golding, a former BNP communications officer who was also a BNP councillor between 2009 and 2011 in Kent, and Jim Dowson, who ran the BNP’s substantial fundraising operation from 2008 to 2010.
Dowson has criminal convictions that include possession of weapons and is connected with Loyalist organisations in Northern Ireland, where he was involved in organising Loyalist “flag protests”.