The leader of extreme far-right Britain First has today threatened to turn up on the doorstep of any journalist that repeats claims made in a damning report on his party.
Paul Golding, a former director of publicity at the British National Party, claims that a damning report about Britain First published by anti-racism group Hope Not Hate was full of inaccuracies and any journalist who republished errors would face direct action.
“If you print something that you know not to be true and it’s absolute nonsense and you know it’s a lie, then we’ll find out where you live, we’ll leak it to all your neighbours, we’ll say that you’re a complete liar and we’ll pressurise your editor to sack you,” he told BuzzFeed.
The far-right political party, notorious for invading mosques, has gained mass popularity in the wake of declining support for groups such as the BNP and the English Defence League. It has been particularly successful on social media and the Hope Not Hate report claims two million people interact with the group’s Facebook page every day.
Golding took issue with an article published in Channel 4 News earlier today that republished the claim that Golding, who founded Britain First in 2011, was previously a member of the National Front. “I was never anything to do with the National Front so there’s lots of inaccuracies and distortions,” he said.
He said: “We’ll take you to the Press Complaints Commission, we’ll do everything within our capabilities because all we ask is that you don’t take lies. It’s not a hard thing to do.”
But the leader of the far-right party called the report a “concoction of our enemies,” suggesting there are “hundreds of points that can be challenged in there as inaccurate.”
Golding took particular issue with claims that party founder Jim Dowson was involved in Northern Irish loyalist paramilitaries and that the party has built a paramilitary Christian “defence force”.
But Matthew Collins, Hope Not Hate’s director of research and author of the report insisted “there’s nothing inaccurate in the report.”
He took a particular stance against Golding’s assertion that Britain First’s “defence force” was not a paramilitary group. He said: “What do you call an organisation that copied the uniforms and the actions and the behaviour of Ulster Loyalist groups?”
“They cover their faces with face masks and wear military style jumpers and they divide into batallions and companies. They’re not imitating cub scouts.”