Michael Coleman, leader of the fascist British National Party (BNP) in Stoke-on-Trent, was found guilty of racially aggravated alarm, harassment and distress at Stoke Crown Court today, Wednesday.
The charges related to material published on his website about last summer’s riots. In a post littered with racist language, he blamed the riots on “profound racial differences” between “the darker races and ourselves”.
In court Coleman argued that “darkie also refers to persona… you know, a dark person, someone wearing dark clothes with a hood up”.
Later he changed tack and conceded his racist views, claiming that “we’ve all got a little bit of racism in us”. He will be sentenced on 28 September.
Coleman is a former Stoke councillor and was leader of the BNP group on the council. National BNP leader Nick Griffin once described Stoke as the party’s “jewel in the crown”.
At one point the fascist BNP had nine councillors and formed the official opposition on the council.
But they were wiped out of the council chamber at the 2011 local elections following a concerted campaign by local anti-Nazi group Norscarf and Unite Against Fascism.