Page last updated at 22:33 GMT, Wednesday, 19 November 2008

BNP members 'targeted by threats'

BNP leader Nick Griffin: 'We're disappointed'

BNP members have told BBC News they have received threatening and abusive phone calls and e-mails after a leaked document was published online.

The membership list includes police officers, who are banned from being in the BNP, teachers and soldiers.

It includes names, addresses, telephone numbers and jobs of 12,000 people.

It has been removed from the blog it was published on after protests by BNP leaders but members say they are still receiving threatening messages.

'Very careful'

One woman, who did not want to be named, told BBC Radio 5 Live she had received a late-night phone saying she should be "very careful" as someone could come to her house.

The BNP's regional organiser in Northern Ireland has advised members to increase their personal security because of the risk of attack from dissident Republicans.

John, from Redcar, told BBC Radio 5 Live he had been inundated with abusive and threatening e-mails since the list was published.

WHO CAN JOIN THE BNP?
Police and prison officers: Banned
Council and NHS employees: Not banned but would be disciplined if beliefs interfered with job
Doctors: Must not allow beliefs to compromise care or attempt to impose political views on patients
Nurses: Not forbidden but code of conduct requires commitment to equality and diversity
Teachers: Membership of political parties must not compromise professional conduct
Union members: Under new laws BNP members could be expelled if judged to be incompatible with the union's beliefs
Armed forces personnel: Not explicitly banned but personnel are barred from political activity or demonstration

"They have said they will put them [his details] on as many sites as they can and they won't leave us alone," he said.

But Richard, a Blackpool hotelier, said: "We did have some strange phone calls last night but if you are a member of any party you should not be ashamed of it."

BNP spokesman Simon Darby said it had contacted a company involved with the blog to warn of the consequences if it was not taken down.

Party leader Nick Griffin called the leak "a disgraceful act of treachery" by former members.

He claimed the threatening calls were part of an "established dirty tricks campaign" from the Labour Party.

Mr Griffin said he had lodged a complaint with Dyfed-Powys Police on the grounds that the publication breached human rights and data protection laws.

He told the BBC the party would use Human Rights Act to try to protect the identities of its members.

He said he had "no problem at all" about the professions of members being in the public domain, as "a matter of public interest", but called publishing people's names and addresses a "nasty piece of intimidation".

'Ashamed'

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said everyone had the "right to protection under data protection laws" but it was up to Dyfed-Powys Police whether to take the matter further.

Occupations ascribed to the names on the list include teachers, a doctor, nurse and members of the armed forces.

While there is no ban on many of those professions joining the BNP, its anti-immigration policies are seen by some organisations as incompatible with frontline public service.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman confirmed that Paul Murray, a member of the Royal staff, was on the list.

She said the 41-year-old storeman, and his wife Jennifer, 44, both denied being BNP members.

Mr Murray, who works at Windsor Castle, believes their names may have appeared on the list because they were once invited to a BNP social event which they did not attend.

'Incompatible'

The denial was accepted and no further action is to be taken.

The membership list, from 2007, also includes the name of one man alleged to be a vicar and another said to be a prison officer.

A Prison Service spokesman said membership of the BNP was "entirely incompatible with working in the Prison Service and, if it is confirmed that a member of staff belongs to one of them, they will be subject to our disciplinary procedures".

Police officers are also banned from joining, a policy which is recognised in the list.

Alongside the name of a serving officer, the document states that there is "Discretion required re. employment concerns".

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said it was content for Merseyside Police to handle a complaint about one of its officers allegedly being a BNP member.

Injunction

The party said the publication could lead to identity theft and endanger children named in the list.

Some as young as 14 are included where their families have party memberships.

Earlier this year, the BNP obtained an injunction at the High Court in Manchester banning any publication of the list.

Mr Griffin said the list was "essentially genuine", but a number of names of people who were not or are not party members had been added.

North Wales Police said they would tackle any reports of an information breach "in the usual robust manner".

The Information Commission will contact the BNP for the full facts of the case before deciding whether any action will be taken, a spokesman said.

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