Page last updated at 17:32 GMT, Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Merseyside Pc on BNP member list

BNP leader Nick Griffin
Nick Griffin said the party had lodged a complaint with police

A Merseyside Police officer has been named on a leaked list of British National Party (BNP) members.

The force said it had launched an investigation into the Pc's appearance on the list, although it is not clear if the officer is a party member.

The document, which dates from 2007, has the names, addresses, jobs and phone numbers of 12,000 people.

Police officers have been banned from being members of the anti-immigration party since 2004.

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

After it was leaked online, party leader Nick Griffin told the BBC's Today programme the list was "essentially genuine", but a number of non-members had been added.

Merseyside Police will investigate whether the officer is a party member, and if not, how their name came to be on the list.

We will be keeping an open mind until all of the facts have been established
Merseyside Police spokeswoman

"We are very clear - membership of the British National Party is totally incompatible with the duties and values of the police service and Merseyside Police," said a spokeswoman.

"We will not accept a police officer or police staff being a member of BNP.

"As a matter of urgency, we have immediately started an investigation into all aspects of this case.

"We will be keeping an open mind until all of the facts have been established."

Meanwhile the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said Merseyside Police had voluntarily referred the case to their officers.

However the police watchdog decided it did not need to be involved.

'Thorough investigation'

Ms Naseem Malik, IPCC Commissioner for the North West, said: "I have every confidence that Merseyside Police will investigate this matter thoroughly.

"The national policies are clear that membership of the BNP is incompatible with the requirements of the role of a police officer and I know Merseyside Police will act robustly if necessary."

In a statement on the BNP website, 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.

The Merseyside Black Police Association (MBPA) said the officer should be dismissed if he "is a member or supportive of the aims and objectives of the British National Party".

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