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Paul Golding

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Paul Golding
Paul Golding.jpg
Golding at a Britain First rally in 2014
Leader of Britain First
Assumed office
2014
Deputy Jayda Fransen
Personal details
Born January 1982 (age 36)[1]
Political party Britain First (2011–present)
Other political
affiliations
BNP (until 2011)
National Front (previously)

Paul Anthony Golding (born January 1982) is a British Nationalist political activist, and the leader of Britain First.

In December 2016, Golding was sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment for breaching a court order banning him from entering a mosque or encouraging others to do so in England and Wales. He took six months leave from the party and Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader, acted as leader during his absence.[2] On 7 March 2018, Golding and Fransen were both imprisoned for religiously aggravated harassment.[3]

Political career[edit]

British National Party[edit]

Golding was a BNP Sevenoaks District councillor for Swanley's St Mary's Ward from 2009[4] to 2011.[5] He was also a communications officer for the party.[5]

He stood as British National Party candidate for Sevenoaks in the 2010 general election, and received 2.8% of the vote.[6]

In 2008, it was reported that Golding had been expelled from the BNP for physically attacking Lawrence Rustem, a BNP Barking Borough Council councillor who is half-Turkish.[7]

Britain First[edit]

He stood in the 2014 local elections[8] and as a Britain First lead candidate in the 2014 European Parliamentary election for Wales; the party received 0.9% of the vote.[9] Golding had been a member of the neo-Nazi National Front and once attended a Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday wearing women's underwear on his head.[10]

In May 2015, Golding threatened to bury a pig at the site of proposed mosque in Dudley, mistakenly believing this would contaminate the site and render it unsuitable.[11] At the Britain First Annual Conference in November 2015, Golding and his deputy Jayda Fransen led the meeting which agreed a number of policies including banning the media from using the word 'racism' and abolishing the BBC.[12]

He stood as a candidate in the London mayoral election in 2016.[13] He came eighth with 31,372 votes (1.2% of those cast) while Labour's Sadiq Khan was elected as Mayor.[14]

Legal issues[edit]

In May 2014, Golding was arrested for criminal damage and breach of the peace during an Al-Muhajiroun protest outside the Indian Embassy in London.[15] In July 2014, he tried to have himself arrested at Bexleyheath police station over an incident at Crayford Mosque, but failed, an act widely considered to be a fund-raising publicity stunt.[16]

In August 2014, the Advertising Standards Agency accused Britain First of illegally using an image of the royal crown in its logo, ordering all images of the crown to be removed from Britain First's official website, marketing materials and merchandise "with immediate effect". Golding responded by calling the ASA a "toothless quango with no power which no one takes any notice of" and refused to change Britain First's logo.[17]

In March 2015, he was arrested on suspicion of assault during a Britain First march in Derby, as was an opponent who Golding had claimed assaulted him.[18] Also in 2015, Golding was convicted of harassing a woman, after mistakenly arriving at her home instead of that of a man allegedly linked to the 2005 London bombings. He was also found guilty of wearing a political uniform, an offence under the Public Order Act 1936. A restraining order was issued against Golding and he was fined for both offences.[19]

In September 2017, Golding and acting leader Jayda Fransen were arrested and charged with religious harassment. They were both bailed and appeared before Medway magistrates in October 2017. Their arrests followed an investigation by Kent Police into the distribution of leaflets in the Thanet and Canterbury areas, and the posting of online videos during a trial at Canterbury Crown Court in May 2017.[20]

Golding's Twitter account is withheld in Germany.[21]

December 2016 arrest and resignation[edit]

In December 2016, Golding was sentenced to eight weeks in prison for breaching a court order banning him from entering a mosque or encouraging others to do so in England and Wales. Nine days after the imposition of the court injunction, Golding drove others to a mosque in Cardiff; they entered and mosque members found their behaviour provocative and unnerving. They feared the situation could have escalated if prayers had still been going on.[22]

Leadership of Britain First was passed onto former Deputy Leader Jayda Fransen in November 2016.[23] Fransen claimed that Golding was taking 6 months leave as leader of the organisation "to address some important, personal family issues".[24]

The satirical news web site, The Rochdale Herald, capitalised on the incident by inviting readers to sponsor his incarceration[25] to raise money for refugees.

On 7 November 2017, Golding was sentenced to a 120 day suspended prison sentence and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid community work by Sevenoaks Magistrates' Court after admitting a charge of assault by beating. He was also told to pay £750 compensation to his victim, plus £115 victim surcharge and £85 prosecution costs. Summing up, magistrate Alan Austen described it as "a really nasty and vicious assault in a public place".[26]

Alleged sex attack[edit]

In late 2017, accusations were made against Golding by a female under the age of consent, who attended one of the group rallies protesting against the sexual abuse of young girls, that Golding had sexually abused her.[27] Graham Morris, a former Britain First member, had claimed that the Deputy Leader, Jayda Fransen, had encouraged the victim to stay quiet, saying, "I can give everything you need, a platform. I’ll do this for you, that for you." [28]

2017 arrest[edit]

In December 2017, on a reported visit to Belfast to support Jayda Fransen, Golding was arrested by the Police Service of Northern Ireland for a speech he gave in the city in August,[29] and was later charged.[30]

2018 conviction[edit]

On 7 March 2018, Fransen and Golding were found guilty of religiously aggravated harassment at Folkestone magistrate’s court, as a result of an investigation concerning the distribution of leaflets in 2017 in the Thanet and Canterbury areas. The pair were convicted over an incident at a takeaway in Ramsgate, Kent, during which Fransen screamed “paedophile” and “foreigner”, while Fransen was also convicted for approaching a mistaken address she believed to belong to a Muslim defendant on a rape trial. They were both sentenced to prison, with 9 months for Fransen and 18 weeks for Golding.[31]

Donald Trump retweets[edit]

On 29 November 2017, US president Donald Trump retweeted three anti-Muslim videos shared by Jayda Fransen on her Twitter account supporting her views.[32] Three weeks later, on 18 December, Twitter suspended the accounts of Golding, Fransen and Britain First for inciting racial hatred. [33] They later joined and asked their followers to go to the Gab social networking service created as an alternative to social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.[34]

Elections contested[edit]

UK general elections

Date of election Constituency Party Votes % Result
2010 Sevenoaks BNP 1,384 2.8[6] Not elected

European Parliament elections

Year Region Party Votes % Result Notes
2014 Wales Britain First 6,633 0.9 Not elected[9] Multi member constituencies; party list

London mayoral election

Year Party Votes % Result
2016 Britain First 31,372 1.2 Not elected

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Paul GOLDING". Companies House. Retrieved 16 March 2018. 
  2. ^ Golding, Paul (November 2016). "Jayda Fransen temporarily assumes leadership of Britain First". Britain First. Britain First. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  3. ^ "Britain First leaders jailed over anti-Muslim hate crimes". The Guardian Online. 7 March 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2018. 
  4. ^ Smith, Chris (21 February 2009). "BNP wins seat on Sevenoaks district council". The Times. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ a b "FACTSHEET: Britain First: the fascist heirs of the BNP". Unite Against Fascism. 23 April 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Sevenoaks, BBC News Election 2010
  7. ^ "BNP picks psychic and a gay porn director as candidates". Evening Standard. 15 April 2008. Retrieved 7 September 2018. Mr Rustem, a BNP councillor in Barking, is half-Turkish and was born Timucin Rustem. His membership has been a sore point for BNP hardliners such as Paul Golding, the then editor of Identity, who was expelled from the party after physically attacking Mr Rustem. 
  8. ^ Tran, Mark (14 May 2014). "Britain First leader complains of 'inquisition' after police grilling". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Vote 2014 - Wales, BBC News
  10. ^ "Britain First: inside the extremist group targeting mosques", Channel 4 News, 19 June 2014
    - "The shame of Paul Golding", Hope not hate website, 26 April 2014
    - "Far-right leader turned up to Cenotaph with knickers on his head", Political Scrapbook,10 November 2014
  11. ^ Chris York (10 May 2015). "Britain First Leader Threatens To Bury Pig At Site Of Planned Mosque". The Huffington Post UK. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  12. ^ Steven Hopkins (17 November 2015). "Britain First: Public Can't Stop Laughing Over Far-Right Party's Plans To 'Ban Racism'". The Huffington Post UK. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  13. ^ York, Chris (27 September 2015). "Britain First's Paul Golding To Stand In London Mayoral Election". Huffington Post. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
    - Mogule, Priyanka (27 September 2015). "Britain First leader Paul Golding to run for London mayor: Wants to hang opponents". International Business Times. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "London Elections, Candidates and Results". BBC News. May 2016. Retrieved 20 December 2016. 
  15. ^ Matthew Collins (9 May 2014). "The Insider's blog: Outside the Indian Embassy now." www.hopenothate.org.uk. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  16. ^ Tim MacFarlan (17 July 2014). "Far right leader Paul Golding tries to give himself up for arrest – and fails". News Shopper. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  17. ^ Butler, Sarah (26 August 2014). "BNP offshoot Britain First rapped by ASA for using royal symbols". The Guardian. 
    - Butler, Sarah (27 August 2014). "Government considers steps against Britain First over use of crown". The Guardian. 
  18. ^ Zena Hawley (9 March 2015). "I'll be back, says Britain First party leader Paul Golding after claiming he was attacked in Derby". Derby Telegraph. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  19. ^ Sam Balls, "Britain First leader Paul Golding found guilty of harassment and wearing a political uniform" Archived 2016-05-11 at the Wayback Machine., Essex Chronicle, 6 January 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  20. ^ "Britain First leaders charged with religious harassment". BBC News. 20 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017. 
  21. ^ Joseph Cox, "This Is How Twitter Blocks Far-Right Tweets in Germany", Vice Motherboard, 13 June 2017. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  22. ^ "Ex-Britain First leader Paul Golding jailed over mosque ban", BBC News, 15 December 2016
  23. ^ Gable, Gerry (1 December 2016). "More questions than answers: a Searchlight investigation". Searchlight. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  24. ^ Fransen, Jayda (21 December 2016). Paul Golding in Muslim-run PRISON! A message from Jayda Fransen. Britain First. 
  25. ^ "Paul Golding's Sponsored Jail Term Raises Over £5,000 For Refugee Council". HuffPost UK. 24 December 2016. Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  26. ^ Debbie King, "Britain First leader Paul Golding ordered to carry out community service for 'really nasty' night club attack", 7 November 2017
  27. ^ John Simpson, "Britain First leader Paul Golding in ‘sex attack’ case", The Times, 1 December 2017, p 13
  28. ^ "Britain First’s Jayda Fransen ‘tried to halt sex assault complaint’", The Observer, 3 December 2017
  29. ^ Dearden, Lizzie (14 December 2017). "Britain First leader Paul Golding arrested while attending deputy's court hearing in Belfast". Independent. Retrieved 14 December 2017. 
  30. ^ "Britain First's Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen charged". BBC News. 14 December 2017. Retrieved 14 December 2017. 
  31. ^ "Britain First leaders jailed over anti-Muslim hate crimes". The Guardian Online. 7 March 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2018. 
  32. ^ "Trump Twitter account retweets incendiary videos". BBC News. 29 November 2017. 
  33. ^ Timberg, Craig; Tsukayama, Hayley (18 December 2017). "'Twitter purge' suspends account of far-right leader who was retweeted by Trump". Washington Post. 
  34. ^ Sarah Marsh, "Britain First signs up to fringe social media site after Twitter ban", The Guardian, 20 December 2017.