Britain First leader Paul Golding charged under Terrorism Act

21 February 2020, 05:53

Paul Golding is the leader of the far-right political group Britain First
Paul Golding is the leader of the far-right political group Britain First. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The leader of the far-right political group Britain First has been charged with an offence under the Terrorism Act after flying back from Russia.

Officers from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command stopped Mr Golding, 38, when he arrived at Heathrow Airport in October on his way back from a trip to the Russian Parliament in Moscow.

He refused to give the pin codes for a number of his electronic devices.

Golding was later charged with refusing to comply with a duty under Schedule 7 of the act.

A Met spokesman said Golding, of Bexley in south-east London, was charged by postal requisition on Wednesday. He is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 27 February.

In a statement, Golding said he was not a terrorist and described the charges as “an abuse of legislation”. Schedule 7 allows police to interrogate, search and detain anyone for up to six hours at UK ports.

It is designed to determine whether an individual is involved in the “commission, preparation or instigation” of acts of terrorism.

Britain First achieved international notice in late 2017 when US President Donald Trump retweeted anti-Muslim videos from the party’s then deputy leader, Jayda Fransen, which were roundly condemned. President Trump said he was willing to apologise for retweeting the group.

The Electoral Commission fined the group more than £44,000 last July for were multiple breaches of electoral law, including undeclared donations and a failure to provide proper accounts.