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Britain First is a British far-right pressure group, registered in November 2011 as a political party, although it is also associated with an unregistered National People's Party and the Northern Ireland-based Protestant Coalition. It campaigns primarily on what it perceives as the Islamification of the United Kingdom.
Britain First was launched in May 2011 with as its chairman Paul Golding, who had been a councillor in Sevenoaks in 2009-11 representing the right-wing British National Party (BNP). Golding had also been the BNP's Communications Officer, and editor of the BNP's main magazine.
The group was created by Jim Dowson, a former fundraiser for the BNP. Dowson's links with the BNP had ended acrimoniously in October 2010 and he then campaigned against its leader, Nick Griffin, through the "British Resistance" website. Dowson, a Scottish Christian fundamentalist, based in Ballygowan, Northern Ireland, also led an anti-abortion campaign, the UK Life League.
Others involved in Britain First's launch included the former South East regional organiser of the BNP, Andy McBride, and Kevin Edwards, a former BNP councillor and organiser in Wales.
In an email dated 29 October 2013 to Sir Peter Botomley MP, Paul Golding wrote: " . . we desperately need new equipment such as surveillance and counter-surveillance kit."
National People's Party
In November 2011 Britain First announced the registration of a political party, the "National People's Party", with Golding named as leader, Edwards as nominating officer and McBride as treasurer. However the Electoral Commission register shows Britain First listed itself from November 2011 as a political party, with the same roles for the three officers, and no current or past listing for a National People's Party, so it is not clear whether the National People's Party has a separate existence. The Britain First website carries a constitution for the Party stating inter alia that "The campaign group Britain First will... be entitled to put forward a representative to sit on the Standing Committee", a six-person group "tasked with the direction of the Party and running all its affairs".
Northern Ireland offshoot
The principal figures in Britain First, Dowson and Golding, launched a new political party in Northern Ireland in April 2013. Dowson was registered with the Electoral Commission as the Protestant Coalition's leader, and Golding as its treasurer. However Dowson stated at the launch that the Coalition had no one leader.
Golding had flown into Belfast in December 2012 to help co-ordinate protests over the decision by Belfast City Council to limit the flying of the Union flag over Belfast City Hall. Dowson had been prominent in the protests, and at the time of the launch, was awaiting trial for public order offences, as was another of the Coalition's founders, Willie Frazer.
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Britain First seeks to protect "British and Christian morality", and campaigns against Islam, immigration and abortion. Its objective is "to save this country and our people from the EU, politically correct, multicultural insanity that is now engulfing us".
- Sophie Madden, "Former BNP Councillor Paul Golding heads Britain First nationalist movement", News Shopper, 8 June 2011
- BNP website
- Hope not Hate profile of Britain First
- British Resistance
- "The Britain First Leadership Team". Britain First. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- "National People's Party official public launch". Britain First. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
- Register of political parties at Electoral Commission website
- National People's Party constitution
- Connla Young, "Union flag protesters launch new party", Irish News, 25 April 2013
- Deborah McAleese, "Former BNP man and Nick Griffin ex-crony Paul Golding flies to Belfast for loyalist flag protest", Belfast Telegraph, 15 December 2012
- A comparison of the sites as of 24 April 2013 is shown here.
- Announcement of the creation of Britain First