Britain First re-registers as political party

The Electoral Commission has allowed far-right political organisation Britain First to re-register as a political party.

The group, led by former BNP councillor Paul Golding, have said they will operate as a “fully-fledged political party” and plan to field election candidates at elections.

Britain First was a registered party from 2010 to 2017 when it was deregistered for administrative reasons.

In 2019, the group was fined over £44,000 for undeclared donations and its failure to keep appropriate financial records.

The group’s official re-registration was announced by the group on Monday after Golding, 39, and the party’s former deputy Jayda Fransen, 35, said they would pay “substantial damages” to settle a libel case.

In March 2018 Golding and Fransen were imprisoned for religiously aggravated harassment after harassing Muslim victims they wrongly accused of involvement in a rape trial.

Last May Golding was convicted under the Terrorism Act after refusing to allow police access to his phone and computer after he returned to the UK from Russia.

There have been campaigns for the group to be proscribed in the wake of violence carried out by its supporters, such as the Finsbury Park mosque attack in 2017.

Regarding the group’s registration, an Electoral Commission spokesperson said: “The application to register Britain First as a political party has been approved. We assessed this application against the criteria set out in law, including consideration of public comments submitted to us. The party’s application met the legal criteria and the party has therefore been registered.”