Civil Liberty (UK)

Civil Liberty (UK)

Civil Liberty is a civil rights organisation claiming to be autonomous of any political party in the United Kingdom. It has been incorrectly alleged to be a front organisation for the British Nationalist Party, set up to raise money for the party from far-right sympathisers in the United States.[1] It should not be confused with the pressure group Liberty (previously the National Council for Civil Liberties).

Claims of connections to the British National Party

The magazine Searchlight (magazine) whose campaigning against the British National Party is endorsed by the Daily Mirror and Britain's major trade unions[2] claims that Civil Liberty, headed by "senior BNP member" Kevin Scott, is a front group for the BNP.[3]

According to The Guardian, Civil Liberty is a fund-raising group run by key BNP activists which was set up to raise money from far right sympathisers in the United States, apparently seeking to profit from anti-Islamic sentiment in the US by presenting the BNP as being at the forefront of a campaign to save the UK from being "overwhelmed" by Muslims.[4]

The only member of Civil Liberty named on the Civil Liberty website is its founder and director, Kevin Scott.[5] Scott is a former BNP regional organizer for the North East.[6] The examples of the organization's work provided over three pages at the website all refer to action in support of prominent members of the BNP: Arthur Redfearn, BNP councilor, and Tina Wingfield, BNP membership secretary,[7] Mark Collett, head of BNP publicity, and BNP chairman Nick Griffin,[8] and prominent BNP members Adam Walker and Mark Walker.[9] No other activities involving "individuals who have been victimized because of their dissent"[10] are reported. Civil Liberty's contact address is alleged to be the PO Box belonging to the BNP's North-East Region.[11] The Guardian states that all money donated through the Civil Liberty website goes to the BNP's regional headquarters in the north-east.[12]

Since 2001 it has been illegal for any political party in the UK to accept overseas donations of more than £200, and party officials breaking the law face a year's imprisonment or a £5,000 fine. According to the Guardian, both Civil Liberty and the BNP deny they are trying to bypass UK election law, insisting they are entirely separate organisations.[13]

Civil Liberty completely reject the claims of these newspapers and points out on their web site that the organisation is independent of any political party.


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External links

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