Britain First could be ‘finished’ if High Court bid to ban them from every mosque in England and Wales

Group leader Paul Golding claims they are facing a 'direct challenge to exist as a political party'

Caroline Mortimer
Wednesday 17 August 2016 15:24
Paul Golding was convicted for wearing an 'intimidating' fleece during a rally in Luton in January
Paul Golding was convicted for wearing an 'intimidating' fleece during a rally in Luton in January

Britain First could be “finished” as it faces an attempt to ban it from entering any mosque in England or Wales for the next three years.

The injunction, which has been requested by Bedfordshire Police, could also ban the group from entering Luton town centre or its predominately Asian neighbourhood, Bury Park, without permission.

The terms of the order, seen by The Independent, means it would also be banned from directing its activists to the area or publishing images or films showing any member of the group inside the exclusion zone.

The far-right group claims Luton is a “hotspot” for Islamic extremism.

The injunction would mean they would not be allowed to enter a mosque in England or Wales "without written permission". The application comes after Britan First was widely criticised for its "mosque invasions".

Group members have filmed themselves going into mosques to confront imams or worshippers. They have also previously handed out Bibles outside mosques.

But Britain First said the decision could spell the end of the group as they cannot afford to continue to fight legal actions.

In a video message last month the group’s leader, Paul Golding, said the group risked being “bled dry” by “endless court appearances and injunctions”.

He condemned the injunction saying: “What we are dealing with here is a direct challenge to exist as a political party. Why do I say that? It’s simple.

The case will be heard at the High Court next month 

“If Luton police can achieve an injunction against a legally registered party then what’s to stop then what’s to stop every other town obtaining similar injunctions”.

Separately, Golding and his deputy, Jayda Fransen, have faced legal trouble of their own.

Last week, Golding was fined £450 for “wearing a uniform with political objectives” after the Britain First fleece he wore during a rally in Luton in January was deemed “intimidating”.

In a separate case Fransen is facing charges of alleged religiously aggravated harassment during the rally. The case is still ongoing.

Bedfordshire Police’s Chief Constable Mike Colbourne defended the order.

He told the International Business Times: "The injunction is being sought due to concerns that their presence in these areas could increase the possibility of disorder and anti-social behaviour.

"I would like to be clear that it is not our intention to ban any demonstration and we will always facilitate peaceful protest where possible."

Britain First has claimed it is defending the country from creeping “Islamification” and has been widely criticised – and derided – for its “Christian patrols”.

A “hapless” protest organised outside the East London Mosque in Whitechapel was caught on camera in March.

Fransen and two others were the only people to show up while spectators quietly laughed at them.

They have also been criticised for their attempts to align their cause to the armed forces.

A photo taken with two young Sea Cadets in Nottingham was removed from Facebook in November last year after one of the girls’ mothers and the organisation complained.

They have also been attacked by the family of Lee Rigby, the soldier killed by Islamist terrorists in Woolwich in 2013, for using their son’s image without their consent on multiple occasions.