Paul Anthony Golding (born 25 January 1982) is a British nationalist politician and convicted criminal. He was the leader of Britain First, an organisation described by some jounalists as a "fascist paramilitary group", from its founding until November 2015.
Although Golding had been expelled from the British National Party after attacking its only ethnic minority councillor, Golding was a BNP Sevenoaks District councillor for Swanley's St. Mary's Ward from 2009 to 2011. He was also a communications officer for the party.
In 2016, he stood as a candidate in the London mayoral election, where he finished in eighth place.
He stood as British National Party candidate for Sevenoaks in the 2010 general election, and received 2.8% of the vote. He stood in the 2014 local elections and as a Britain First lead candidate in the 2014 European Parliamentary election for Wales; the party received 0.9% of the vote. Golding had been a member of the neo-Nazi National Front and once attended a Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday wearing women's underwear on his head.
In May 2015, Golding threatened to bury a pig at the site of proposed mosque in Dudley, mistakenly believing this would contaminate the site and render it unsuitable. During a visit to Northern Ireland that year, Golding and other supporters of Britain First mistook Newtownards Town Hall for a mosque. At the Britain First Annual Conference in November 2015, Golding and his deputy Jayda Fransen led the meeting which agreed a number of policies including banning the media from using the word 'racism' and abolishing the BBC.
He stood as a candidate in the London mayoral election in 2016. He came eighth with 31,372 votes (1.2% of those cast) while Labour's Sadiq Khan was elected as Mayor.
In May 2014, Golding was arrested for criminal damage and breach of the peace during a protest outside the Indian Embassy in London. In July 2014, he tried to have himself arrested at Bexleyheath police station over an incident at Crayford Mosque, but failed, an act widely considered to be a fund-raising publicity stunt.
In August 2014, the Advertising Standards Agency accused Britain First of illegally using an image of the royal crown in its logo, ordering all images of the crown to be removed from Britain First's official website, marketing materials and merchandise "with immediate effect". Golding responded by calling the ASA a "toothless quango with no power which no one takes any notice of" and refused to change Britain First's logo.
In March 2015, he was arrested on suspicion of assault during a Britain First march in Derby, as was an opponent who Golding had claimed assaulted him. Also in 2015, Golding was convicted of harassing a woman, after mistakenly arriving at her home instead of that of a man allegedly linked to the 2005 London bombings. He was also found guilty of wearing a political uniform, an offence under the Public Order Act 1936. A restraining order was issued against Golding and he was fined for both offences.
December arrest and resignation
In December 2016, Golding was sentenced to eight weeks in prison for breaching a court order banning him from entering a mosque or encouraging others to do so in England and Wales. Nine days after the imposition of the court injunction, Golding drove others to a mosque in Cardiff; they entered and mosque members found their behaviour provocative and unnerving. They feared the situation could have escalated if prayers had still been going on.
Leadership of Britain First was passed onto former Deputy Leader Jayda Fransen in November 2016. Fransen claimed that Golding was taking 6 months leave as leader of the organisation "to address some important, personal family issues".
UK general elections
|Date of election||Constituency||Party||Votes||%||Result|
European Parliament elections
|2014||Wales||Britain First||6,633||0.9||Not elected||Multi member constituencies; party list|
London mayoral election
|2016||Britain First||31,372||1.2||Not elected|