Watchdog to investigate leaked BNP list of alleged members

The information watchdog is to launch an investigation after a list apparently containing the personal details of thousands of members of the British National Party (BNP) was leaked onto the internet for the second time in less than a year.

Nick Griffin, the party’s leader, branded the leak a forgery today, adding that it had been timed to cause the maximum amount of damage ahead of his debut on BBC1’s Question Time on Thursday. The names, addresses and telephone numbers of almost 12,000 people were revealed in the document, which was posted on the internet site WikiLeaks.

Mr Griffin’s fellow Question Time panellists have been plotting ways to expose the far-right party’s leader during the broadcast. One member of the panel told The Independent that they would be taking a dossier onto the programme with them, detailing alleged anti-Semitic and racist comments reportedly made by Mr Griffin and asking him to explain them. “I have never gone on the programme with notes before,” the panellist said. “But this time I will have details of dates, places and quotes.”

Several doctors and members of the military appeared on the alleged membership document. It appeared to show a slight fall in membership since a similar list surfaced last November. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) confirmed it was examining the data leak. Mick Gorrill, the assistant commissioner, said: “We will establish the full facts before deciding on any regulatory action.”

Writing on his party’s website today, Mr Giffin said that the list was a forgery. “It is a concoction of the ‘old’ list plus a number of inquiries received, but, most disturbingly, it contains thousands of names of people with whom the BNP has had no contact whatsoever,” he said. “We have no idea from where this information has been drawn. Some of it looks like random items drawn from a telephone book.”

The BBC Trust could yet enforce a last-minute reversal of the decision to invite Mr Griffin onto Question Time after Peter Hain, the Welsh Secretary, made a final plea to the corporation’s governance body to block his participation. Mark Thompson, the BBC’s director general, has already rejected Mr Hain’s claim that the corporation must not give airtime to the far-right party on legal grounds.

“I have a legitimate expectation that the Trust will not avoid this difficult decision for its own political convenience,” Mr Hain writes in his letter to the trust. “This is a fast changing situation. The BBC must not hide behind the process and procedure to usher the BNP across this threshold.”

Anti-fascist demonstrators are to hold a press conference outside the BBC’s Television Centre, West London, on Thursday morning to mark the start of a day-long protest against Mr Griffin’s Question Time appearance. Dozens of BBC workers are set to join them as they finish work. A rally organised by Unite Against Fascism will also be held tonight in West London, during which Mr Hain and Michael Rosen, the former children’s laureate, will be addressing the crowd.

Security on the programme has been stepped up to prevent protesters forming part of the Question Time audience. It is understood that all potential audience members will be subjected to extra vetting before they are accepted. They will be asked which political party they will be supporting at the next election as the BBC attempts to ensure a range of views, including some sympathetic to the BNP. Thursday’s programme is also being filmed earlier than usual to ensure that producers have enough time to complete the show should any disturbances take place.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"