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British far-right leader charged with terrorism

Paul Golding was arrested at Heathrow Airport in October

Paul Golding, leader of Britain First. Getty Images
Paul Golding, leader of Britain First. Getty Images

The leader of a prominent British far-right group has been charged with a terror offence after refusing to give police access to his phone.

Paul Golding, leader of Britain First, was stopped by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism at London’s Heathrow Airport in October on his way back from Moscow, where he went to the Russian Parliament.

He refused to provide pin codes for several of his electronic devices.

Mr Golding, 38, of Bexley in south-east London, is charged with refusing to comply a duty under Schedule 7 of the British Terrorism Act. Schedule 7 allows police to interrogate, search and detain anyone for up to six hours at UK ports, to determine whether they are involved in the "commission, preparation or instigation" of acts of terrorism.

In a statement, Mr Golding denied being a terrorist and said the charges were “an abuse of legislation”.

After working as a British National Party councillor, Mr Golding joined Britain First as its leader in 2011. The fascist organisation is against multi-culturalism and what is sees as “an Islamisation” of the United Kingdom.

In September last year, the far-right group was criticised after Mr Golding joined Britain First activists on a "patriot migrant patrol" at a beach near Dover to catch migrants crossing the English channel. This was only two months after Mr Golding was caught on tape admitting he had violently attacked his former deputy.

He will appear in Westminster Magistrates’ Court in central London next Thursday.

Updated: February 21, 2020 03:50 PM

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