Police probe as BNP caught on TV

Key points

• Leader Griffin calls Islam ‘wicked’

Member claims he took part in race attack in Bradford

• Reprisals feared

Key quote

"You’ve got to stand up and do something for the British National Party because otherwise they (Muslims) will do for someone in your family. That is the truth" - Nick Griffin, British National Party leader

Story in full ACTIVISTS in the British National Party face the threat of prosecution after confessing to committing racially motivated crimes in an undercover documentary set to be broadcast tonight.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The film shows BNP leader Nick Griffin condemning Islam as a "vicious, wicked faith" - and claiming that he would face seven years in prison if he made the comments in public.

A BBC reporter who spent six months undercover with the BNP recorded another of the far-right group’s members, Steve Barkham, confessing to taking part in a racially-motivated attack on an Asian man during the 2001 Bradford riots.

Another BNP member, Stewart Williams, tells reporter Jason Gwynne that he wants to "blow up" Bradford’s mosques with a rocket launcher and to machine-gun worshippers.

BBC producers say the material will be handed over to the police and Crown Prosecution Service.

Mr Griffin says in footage which was recorded secretly at a meeting in Keighley, called to discuss a spate of child sex attacks: "You’ve got to stand up and do something for the British National Party because otherwise they [Muslims] will do for someone in your family. That is the truth.

"For saying that, I tell you, I will get seven years if I said that outside, if I said that in front of people who go and report it to the police."

He tells his audience that the Koran encourages followers to "take any woman you want as long as they’re not Muslim women", again adding that expressing such views in public would land him in jail.

Mr Griffin goes on: "That’s the way that this wicked, vicious faith has expanded through a handful of cranky lunatics about 1300 years ago until it’s now sweeping country after country."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The BBC reporter was helped to infiltrate the BNP’s West Yorkshire branch by former local BNP organiser Andy Sykes, who became a mole for anti-fascist group Searchlight two years ago.

Programme producer Karen Wightman said the BBC had put security measures in place to protect Mr Sykes and Mr Gwynne from reprisals by BNP members.

In more secretly-recorded footage, Mr Barkham gives a graphic description of what he says was his role in assaulting an Asian man during the 2001 Bradford riots.

Three white men and the victim were later convicted of affray, but Mr Barkham escaped prosecution.

On camera, Mr Barkham tells the BBC reporter: "I gave him a good f****** hiding, because that’s what he asked for.

"I’m kicking him, kicking away, kicking away. Oh, it was f****** fantastic. Blood’s coming out of his head. I looked down at my shoes. I were just covered in blood."

Reporter Mr Gwynne says in the film that a barrister instructed by the BBC had expressed the opinion that this confession amounted to an admission of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, which can carry a life sentence.

The programme, titled Secret Agent, shows a number of incidents in secretly-recorded footage which the barrister said could also lead to criminal charges.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A West Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said it would investigate the programme’s claims to find out if any offences had taken place.

She said: "We haven’t yet seen the programme. But we will always prosecute where we find evidence of anyone being involved in racially-motivated crime."

• Secret Agent will be shown on BBC1 tonight at 9pm.