|Expelled - Yet Again!||Tyndall Rejects Charges|
For the second time in no more than 16 months, Spearhead editor and British National Party founder John Tyndall has been expelled from the BNP. A disciplinary tribunal set up on the authority of present party chairman Nick Griffin and presided over by his chief henchman Tony Lecomber delivered a 'guilty' verdict and a unanimous decision in favour of the expulsion of Mr. Tyndall following an examination of thirteen charges at a hearing in Essex on December 4th.
Mr. Tyndall was acquitted by the tribunal on one of the charges, while a verdict of 'not proven' was given in respect of five more. He was found guilty on the remaining seven. Which were:-
Mr. Tyndall defended himself against six of these seven charges by stating that, as Spearhead was an independent magazine, he had the sole prerogative as proprietor and editor in deciding its content, whether this related to advertisements or articles. He pointed out that the magazine had always been independent of the BNP, but that since he had ceased to occupy any position in the party whatever (which was the case from September 1999) this independence had become underlined by becoming political as well as legal. He also pointed out that the separation of magazine and party had been further underlined after he had removed, at the end of 2002 and at the request of the party chairman, all lists previously advertising the party's book section and the customary advertisement for the party itself which had been a regular feature of the back page of every issue. He stated that neither the party nor its chairman had any lawful control whatsoever over the magazine, and therefore no right to dictate its contents to him.
This did not mean that he accepted the validity of charges relating to associations with 'nazism' or 'anti-Semitism' in respect of advertisements or articles but only that any such charges fell at first base because of the realities of ownership and control and his prerogatives as the magazine's proprietor and editor.
In reply to the charge of "spreading false and malicious rumours" against Mr. Griffin, Mr. Tyndall insisted that such acts could not possibly be offences in the rules of any association; that in political parties people attack other people, who have the right to respond; that far worse attacks had been made by Tony Lecomber against him (Tyndall) without any disciplinary action being taken; and that those who felt they had been slandered or libelled by others had recourse to the courts if they so wished.
Mr. Tyndall told the tribunal that rules of proscription within any unincorporated association could not lawfully extend to dictating to members with which persons they may associate at times and on occasions not under the association's auspices.
It is noteworthy that of the thirteen 'offences' of which Mr. Tyndall was originally charged, ten related to acts that occurred in or before February 2004, yet no charges connected with these acts were made before the 26th September 2004. It is further noteworthy these charges were issued a relatively short time after Mr. Tyndall had formally announced his intention to challenge Nick Griffin for the party leadership, this announcement being made in July 2004.
Mr. Tyndall has lodged an official appeal against his expulsion, as provided for in Section 6(10) of the BNP Constitution. Should this fail, the matter will be taken to a court of law by means of application for judicial review. A similar action was taken in October 2003, but Mr. Griffin pre-empted it going to court by way of an out-of-court settlement whereby Mr. Tyndall's expulsion was quashed and he reinstated.