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Mark Collett

Mark Adrian Collett (born 3 October 1980) is a British political activist. He is a former chairman of the Young BNP, the youth division of the British National Party (BNP), and was Director of Publicity for the Party before being suspended from the party in early April 2010. During the same month it was reported that he had been investigated by police for making threats against party leader Nick Griffin.[1] His membership was reinstated just one week later, on the orders of the Party's National Chairman Nick Griffin.

From Rothley, he was educated at Loughborough Grammar School and the University of Leeds where he gained a second-class honours degree in Business Economics (2:2).[2]

Collett featured on a Channel 4 documentary on the BNP - Young, Nazi and Proud broadcast in 2002 which concentrated almost exclusively on Collett. He declared his admiration for Adolf Hitler and UDA terrorist Johnny Adair, unaware he was being filmed. Collett was sacked from his position in the party and expelled days after the broadcast, although party leaders continued to share speaking platforms with him. However he was allowed to rejoin a few days later with chairman Nick Griffin saying that he must change his views on the subject. Collett was the party's head of publicity and produced the party's monthly magazine Identity.[3]

As a result of a police investigation into another documentary, BBC One's The Secret Agent, which in July 2004 broadcast secret footage of Collet making derogatory remarks about asylum seekers, Collett, then aged 24, was bailed on race hate offences at Leeds magistrates' court on 7 April 2005 alongside party founder John Tyndall and party leader Nick Griffin. The trial ended on 2 February 2006 after a jury acquitted Collett of two charges of using words or behaviour intended to stir up racial hatred, and two alternative charges of using words likely to stir up racial hatred. The jury failed to reach a verdict in respect of a further four charges. The Crown Prosecution Service subsequently announced that Collett and Griffin would face a retrial on the remaining charges of using words or behaviour intended to stir up racial hatred. This retrial began at Leeds Crown Court on 1 November 2006 and he and Griffin were found not guilty.[4]

On Russell Brand's 2002 TV show RE:Brand, Collett described homosexuals as "AIDS Monkeys", "bum bandits" and "faggots".[5] In the Channel 4 documentary, Young, Nazi and Proud, Collett said that he considered AIDS a “friendly disease because blacks, drug users and gays have it."[2][6]

In April, 2010 he was sacked from his job as BNP publicity chief and suspended from the party for being supportive of a leadership bid against Griffin,[7] and was subsequently arrested by Humberside police, who questioned him over alleged threats to kill Griffin.[8] Despite the reinstatement of Collett's party membership he did not stand for the party in the May 2010 general election, and it is unclear whether he will hold any official position again within the party in the near future.

Humberside Police did not bring charges against Collett over the allegations of threats to kill, formally dismissing them later in 2010.[9]

Elections contested

Date of election Constituency Party Votes % Source
2005 Leeds Central BNP 1201 4.1 The Guardian, 7 May 2005

References

  1. ^ Adam Gabbatt and Matthew Taylor (4 April 2010). "BNP official Mark Collett questioned over alleged threat to kill Nick Griffin". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 4 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Channel 4 Documentary - Dispatches: Young, Nazi and Proud (2002) Video
  3. ^ Editorial team, Identity website, accessed 26 Nov 2008
  4. ^ "BNP leader cleared of race hate". BBC News. 10 November 2006. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "Naziboy".  
  6. ^ Gray, Sadie (11 November 2006). "What the jury did not hear". The Times (London). Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "BNP publicity chief sacked amid claims of 'palace coup' against leader Nick Griffin". Daily Mail (London). 4 April 2010. 
  8. ^ "'"BNP's head of publicity arrested over threats to kill Nick Griffin in 'palace coup. Daily Mail (London). 6 April 2010. 
  9. ^ "Police to take no further action over plot to kill head of BNP". Hope Not Hate (London). 
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