A Greater Manchester police officer has been forced to resign after he was seen wearing a British National Party (BNP) badge at a football match.So what, you may think? Don’t the police have the right to proscribe that their staff aren’t a member of any radical political party, to avoid the perception of bias? Well, it seems they do (at least, until this is challenged under EU law – won’t that be fun?)
Stuart Janaway, 36, of Rixtonleys Drive, Irlam, Salford, wore the BNP badge to a game at Old Trafford in September 2006, while he was off duty.
Acting Assistant Chief Constable Terry Sweeney, head of the Professional Standards Branch, said: "Item six of the Chief Constable's Order of 2004...makes it clear that officers are banned from being members of the BNP, Combat 18 or the National Front.So, you can’t be a member, though you can vote for them should you wish. But he was just wearing a badge! Anyone can wear a badge without being a member of that organisation.
"This requirement extends into the private lives of police officers and police staff."
Mr Sweeney said all officers are aware that the implications of not complying with the regulations "will likely result in [their] dismissal".
There must have been evidence he was a member too?
Not according to another report:
A police spokesman said there was no evidence that he was a member of the BNP.No evidence, but he was required to resign anyway?
And now check the comments in that Manchester Evening News forum. And consider the political capital that the BNP are going to make out of this.
And ask yourself who the GMP think they are helping with this action…