Britain First And Paul Golding: Who Are They?

Also known as the CAPS LOCK BRIGADE.

17/06/2016 11:40 | Updated 17 June 2016

Britain First has only been active for five years but in that time the political group has built a notorious reputation for their provocative acts and rhetoric.

Under the slogan "Taking our country back!", the far-right "Christian" group claim it is "committed to the maintenance of British national sovereignty, independence and freedom".

In particular, Britain First targets Islam, which it openly states it wants to ban in the UK.

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Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen join British First group protest march at Bury Park on June 27, 2015 in Luton

Britain First, a registered UK political party, originated in 2011 as an off-shoot of the BNP and is headed by co-founder Paul Golding and deputy leader, Jayda Fransen, who joined later.

The group has an inner circle of around 12 core activists as well as an unspecified number of members who pay for a subscription, although Britain First marches and events rarely manage to muster gatherings numbering over 100 people.

They do boast the largest Facebook page of any registered political party in the UK which currently has 1.4 million likes.

Much of the content it posts is isolated incidents portraying Muslims in a negative light like the posts below, reflected on their official website.

Britain First

The group first gained media attention in 2014 when the Electoral Commission controversially allowed it to use an image of murdered soldier Lee Rigby in literature to promote its standing in the European Elections.

The commission later apologised to Rigby's family for the distress caused.

Later that year Britain First became known for their "mosque invasions" where it films members aggressively confronting Muslims in their place of worship and demanding such things as an end to gender segregation inside.

The group does not target similar practises in Orthodox Jewish synagogues and Sikh gurdwaras.

Co-founder Jim Dowson left after finding its tactics of invading mosques "provocative and counterproductive".

Initial reaction to these events was one of slight bewilderment but soon changed to widespread mockery after a bizarre event in July 2014 in response to police action against them for a mosque invasion.

In the video, Golding said: “This just goes to show how happy police are to appease Islam in this country. They’re bending over backwards to appease them.”

Golding announced he had been arrested in a post on their website, a claim later disputed by the Met Police who said a man in his 30s turned up at a station asking to speak to officers, but left a free man.

Britain First

Since then Britain First's activities have drawn a mixture of disgust and ridicule.

 The group has:

Politically, the group's first major foray came with the London Mayoral elections earlier this year.

Golding was standing as a candidate with Fransen up for member of the London General Assembly.

Despite an extensive fund-raising drive characterised be scaremongering emails about the possibility of London's first Muslim mayor, the group failed abysmally to make an impact attracting just 1% of the vote, far short of their intended target of 5%.

During their campaign it also transpired their party political broadcast shown on the BBC and ITV had used Golding's own mother as a "supporter".

Golding did make headlines on the night of Sadiq Khan's victory, though possibly not in the way he intended.

During the new mayor's acceptance speech, the Britain First leader turned his back in protest.

Unfortunately it fell rather flat, not least because many people didn't even know who he was. 

After their crushing electoral defeat the group turned its attention to the EU referendum campaign with equally successful results.

A stall set up in Leicester to hand out leaflets was chased out of the city by anti-facist protestors. 

A second demonstration in the city a week later attracted similar demonstrations with even the city's mayor showing up and telling them they weren't welcome. 

The makeup of the group consists of Golding, Fransen and a core group of "activists" in charge of security who are often seen standing menacingly by their leader's sides during events.

They take their training rather seriously as evidenced by a recent "activist training camp" they held in Wales.

During the session they learned combat skills and unwittingly ate halal-friendly Pot Noodles, drawing much mockery.


The group soon made headlines again for far more serious reasons when it was speculated the killer of MP Jo Cox, Tommy Mair, had shouted "Britain first" while attacking her.

The claim has been difficult to verify with some suggesting he actually said "put Britain first".

Either way, Golding felt the need to release a statement rejecting any links between them and Mair.

Underpinning everything the group does is a purported Christian belief.

During marches in predominantly Muslim areas and when protesting outside of mosques, members of the group often hold crosses and quote select pieces of the Bible.

Damningly for them, this apparent religious fervour does not wash with a single one of the UK's Christian denominations, each of whom denounced the group earlier this year variously as "extremist", "self-serving" and "blasphemous" and condemned its actions as "hi-jacking the name of Jesus Christ to justify hatred and spread fear".

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