Far-right group the British National Party is no longer a party – after having had its status revoked by the Electoral Commission.
The extremist party has become something of a non-entity in recent years, having lost the only political office it held by flopping during the 2014 European Elections.
Party leader Nick Griffin – who previously described gay people as “creepy” and admitted that he would like to ban same-sex unions – was expelled after a catastrophic internal row, and Griffin later admitted he now votes for UKIP.
The party suffered an even more fatal blow this week, when the Electoral Commission declared that it was no longer a political party.
A statement explained: “The Electoral Commission has today (8 January) removed the British National Party (BNP) from its register of political parties in Great Britain 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 (PPERA) requires all registered political parties to submit an annual notification confirming that the details they have registered with the Commission remain accurate [and] pay a re-registration fee of £25.
“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 BNP’s statement of accounts were due on 7 July 2015. Their annual confirmation of registered details was therefore due on or before 7 January 2016.
“The Electoral Commission 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.
It continues: “Now that the party has been removed from the register, BNP candidates cannot, at present, 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.
“Any application will be considered by the Commission in line with its usual processes for assessing new applications to register political parties.”
The news seems to be a surprise to the party – which continues to send regular tweets.
Just hours prior to the Electoral Commission announcement, it had claimed: “Other political parties, who pretend to be in opposition have made Britain worse. Join us. We will make it better.”