The British National Party has been removed from the register of political parties in Great Britain by the Electoral Commission - but the party says it is in the process of re-registering after a "a small clerical error from a party that is supposed to be dead in the water".
The commission announced Friday that the BNP had been removed for failing to confirm their registration details with the Commission - a legal requirement that must be submitted annually.
The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 requires all registered political parties to submit an annual notification confirming that the details they have registered with the Commission remain accurate. The party must also pay a re-registration fee of £25.
Nick Griffin's British National Party has been removed from the register of UK political parties
The last date a notification can be submitted to the Commission is six months after the deadline for submission of a party’s statement of accounts, the commission said.
The BNP's statement of account were due on July 1, 2015, meaning their final deadline passed on January 1, 2016.
The Electoral Commission said it did not receive the notification by this date "and is required by law to remove the BNP from its register of political parties in Great Britain".
Now that the BNP has been removed from the register, the commission said BNP candidates cannot use the party’s name, descriptions or emblems on the ballot paper at elections.
The party can, however, submit an application to re-register at any time and their name, descriptions and emblems are protected under PPERA for two years to prevent other parties using them, the commission said.
The BNP was formed by John Tyndall in 1982 from the merging of several political parties. From 1999 to 2014 it was led by Nick Griffin. In December 2012 several disgruntled members of the party left and formed the short-lived British Freedom Party, which was de-registered less than two years later when it also failed to return the annual registration.