They can be colour-blind when it suits them

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The Independent Online

Nick Griffin and his followers in the BNP may not want people of the "wrong" religion or skin colour in their organisation now but there was a time when he and his allies were not shy of making common cause with Muslim or black extremists where they saw a meeting of minds.

In 1986, Mr Griffin and two other members of the BNP's predecessor organisation, the National Front, set off for Tripoli at the expense of the Libyan government in the hope of persuading Colonel Gaddafi, above, to give them money. This was after the UK had broken off diplomatic relations with Libya when someone inside the Libyan People's Bureau in London opened fire on protesters outside and killed a policewoman, PC Yvonne Fletcher.

They came away empty handed but still thinking it was worth a try. In a subsequent television interview, Mr Griffin said: "In our minds was the fact that Libya is a small country awash with oil money. If we wanted to build a serious nationalist movement in this country we needed to attract serious money. Had we been offered it, we would have been very happy to take it."

Mr Griffin's faction also extolled Iran, then controlled by Ayatollah Khomeini, and the American black separatist Louis Farrakhan, below, leader of the Nation of Islam. What Mr Farrakhan had in common with the NF was that, for different reasons, both believed that blacks and whites should not mix. One of Mr Griffin's allies explained: "Black and Asian people who are committed to preserving their cultural and racial identity have far more in common with us than we have with race-mixing white liberals."

And National Front News, controlled by Mr Griffin's faction, argued at the time: "Common interest must be turned into practical co-operation. Those involved must work to nail the media lies which are used by our enemies to try and divide us and make us afraid to be seen standing side by side with Third Way nations such as Libya and Iran."

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