Soldier among Suffolk BNP members

MORE than 100 people from Suffolk - including a serving soldier - are fully signed-up members of far-right group the British National Party (BNP), it has emerged.

Russell Claydon

MORE than 100 people from Suffolk - including a serving soldier - are fully signed-up members of far-right group the British National Party (BNP), it has emerged.

Last night politicians from the county said the number was “worrying” and any BNP inroads being made should be halted.

The names, contact details, jobs and addresses of the 111 Suffolk members of the BNP were revealed in a leaked internet document containing more than 12,000 individuals.

It includes 32 in Ipswich and 11 in Bury St Edmunds, with 20 listed activists living in the county.

The party's leader, former Woodbridge School pupil Nick Griffin, has said they will take court action against the people who have leaked the list - which has now been pulled down from an internet blog.

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Norfolk has double the amount of signed up members - 220 - than Suffolk, but local politicians said they were still worried about the number in the county.

David Ruffley, Conservative MP for Bury St Edmunds, said: “I completely and utterly disagree with the BNP's policies and values.

“I will fight to keep the BNP and their objectionable policies out of Bury St Edmunds.”

Chris Mole, Labour MP for Ipswich, said of BNP membership in Suffolk: “I would find one worrying, let alone one hundred.”

He thought that having a serving soldier from Ipswich affiliated to the party raised concerns about their conduct when coming across people from different ethnic backgrounds.

“There has been a discussion about the appropriateness of people with extremist political views serving in uniformed services such as the police,” he said. “And by extension I would hope that people who are serving in the armed forces, particularly where they're serving in delicate or sensitive international situations, are properly advised of the best way to interact with people of different ethnic backgrounds.

“My concerns are BNP members would hold prejudices that would make it difficult to do that.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “Individuals are free to join a political party but they must uphold our values and standards.”

The leaked list includes personal telephone numbers, details of jobs and in some cases the hobbies and qualifications of the members.

A web editor, a shipping company consultant, a history graduate and a certified accountant are just some of the jobs that Suffolk members of the BNP hold. The list reveals there are 675 members in Essex.

Mr Griffin, who grew up near Halesworth, said: “We'll be asking the police to investigate. It's a list which is now just over a year old.

“Having spent a lot of money to secure our members' privacy we are disappointed that it's been breached.”

In his statement on the BNP website, Mr Griffin described the publication as “a disgraceful act of treachery” by former BNP staff members who had subsequently been sacked.

He said that he had lodged a complaint with Dyfed-Powys police, in Wales, on the grounds that the publication breached human rights and data protection laws.

According to the BNP, the published list is based on its 2007 membership list although a number of names of people who were not or are not party members had been added.

Earlier this year, the party said that it obtained an injunction at the High Court in Manchester banning publication of the list.

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