Paul Waugh, This Is London, June 11, 2009
The British National Party will be forced to admit black and Jewish members under the Government’s new Equalities Bill, ministers revealed today.
Commons leader Harriet Harman said the new legislation would make it illegal to have a “whites-only” political party in the UK.
Under the BNP’s constitution, membership is “strictly defined” as “indigenous Caucasian”.
Ms Harman said the bill will outlaw such restrictions in a bid to stop “apartheid-style” politics being imported to Britain.
She told the Commons: “We have all been shocked and horrified by the fact that two great regions of this country–the North-West and Yorkshire and Humberside–are represented by the British National Party–a party who have in their constitution a provision that you cannot be a member if you are not white.
“In the Equality Bill passing through this house, that constitution will be unlawful.”
Ms Harman said she hoped the Tories would now stop opposing the bill because “it prevents us having an apartheid political party in this country”.
She said: “I think all of us should agree there’s no place for a party in this country to have an apartheid constitution.”