In the face of a court challenge brought by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the far-right British National party (BNP) has agreed to change its constitution and admit non-white members.
Currently, the BNP's constitution limits membership to people who are
"'indigenous Caucasian' and defined 'ethnic groups' emanating from that race."
Discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or skin colour, however, is expressly prohibited by the Race Relations Act.
Last week, a hearing on an application for an injunction to ban such criteria was adjourned after the BNP changed solicitors at the last minute.
The BNP has now decided - albeit grudgingly - that it must adapt or die. The party posted a rather bizarre statement on its website blaming Britain's "undemocratic Orwellian equality laws" for the change.
But, a spokesman for Searchlight, the anti-fascist organisation, said: "The fact the BNP has been forced into this cosmetic change will fool no one. It remains a viciously racist organisation."
Moreover, a spokesman for the EHRC said that it had received no formal indication from the BNP that it intended to comply with its requirements. Until it did, the EHRC would pursue the court case.
A hearing is scheduled for October 15.
** Additional Information & Advice **
You can obtain further information about the Race Relations Act and racial discrimination on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, however, it may be better to speak with a solicitor. You can be matched with a
solicitor in your area for free via solicitor matching services, which can
also help you to understand the best course of action for your situation and
whether you are ready to hire a solicitor.