The leader of the British National party has been charged with four race hate
offences, police said. Nick Griffin, 45, was arrested at his home in mid-Wales
last December by West Yorkshire police as part of a long-running investigation
into the BBC programme Secret Agent.
Mr Griffin answered his bail at Halifax police station and was charged with four
offences of using words or behaviour intended or likely to stir up racial
The Secret Agent documentary, screened in July last year, featured undercover
filming of BNP activists.
Mr Griffin will appear before Leeds magistrates court on 7 April.
Earlier, the BNP founding chairman, John Tyndall, was charged with two offences
of using words or behaviour intended or likely to stir up racial hatred.
Mr Tyndall, 70, of Brighton, was arrested in December last year following a
speech he made in Burnley in March 2004 as part of the same investigation into
the BBC documentary. He will also appear before magistrates in Leeds on 7 April.
More than 250 BNP supporters from all over the country, draped in Union and St
George's flags, gathered outside the police station as Mr Griffin answered his
The party had organised what it described as "a freedom of speech" rally, to
highlight what it claimed was a campaign to stop it speaking about immigration.
Mr Griffin arrived at the police station to loud cheers from supporters.
The crowd chanted "Freedom, freedom" as he launched an attack on the government
and West Yorkshire police.
Before he was charged today, Mr Griffin told protesters: "We're not going to
protest by rioting. We will leave that to the far left and the Muslims."
More than a dozen police officers monitored the demonstration.
Mark Collett, 24, a BNP activist from Leeds, has also been charged with eight
counts of the same offence and will be appearing at Leeds magistrates court with
both Mr Griffin and Mr Tyndall.
The charges follow a joint investigation by West Yorkshire police and the Crown
Prosecution Service casework directorate.
Later Mr Griffin emerged from the police station and made the victory sign to
the crowd. He told them that he had been charged for telling the truth and would
use his trial as a platform for defending the party's belief.
Mr Griffin told reporters that he had "no regrets" and "would continue to tell
the truth" even if he had to go to jail.
Mr Griffin led a rendition of Jerusalem followed by the Lord's Prayer before
leaving in a people carrier.
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