Barclays Bank shuts down BNP accounts

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Barclays Bank has closed accounts used by the British National Party after a BBC documentary showed followers of the right-wing group confessing to racist hate crime.

Barclays Bank has closed accounts used by the British National Party after a BBC documentary showed followers of the right-wing group confessing to racist hate crime.

Barclays will shut six accounts linked to the BNP, not all of which are registered in the party's name, a source said. "The bank had been looking at the situation for some time, but the BBC documentary last night provided evidence enabling the bank to act," the source said.

A Barclays spokeswoman said the company would not comment because of client confidentiality.

Nick Griffin, BNP chairman, branded the decision "absolutely scandalous" and admitted the party might find it difficult to open accounts with other banks. He also threatened legal action against the bank, claiming the move breached European human rights legislation.

Yesterday West Yorkshire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service issued a statement saying officers were collecting tapes from the programme makers of BBC1's documentary Secret Agent. Jason Gwynne, a reporter, spent six months undercover with the BNP.

The statement said: "We will be reviewing the material to identify what information of evidential value it contains and decide on the appropriate action."

The documentary, broadcast on Thursday, showed Mr Griffin condemning Islam as a "vicious, wicked faith".

Both Mr Barkham and Dave Midgley, a BNP candidate for council elections who told Mr Gwynne that he had spent three weeks putting dog excrement through the letterbox of an Asian restaurant, have now been expelled by the party.

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