Royal British Legion rethinks BNP donation

Armed forces charity says it has not yet received cash from party member and might reject it

The Royal British Legion has said it will refuse a promised donation from a member of the British National Party if it decides that the gift has been exploited for political purposes by the far-right party.

BNP member Rachel Firth has pledged half of the funds she raised by spending 24 hours in a cardboard box in the street to the legion, and the other half to the BNP.

The legion initially refused to accept the donation, then said it would accept it because it came from an individual, not a political party.

But Robert Lee, head of media and campaigns at the legion, told Third Sector that no funds from Firth had been received. The legion would accept any donation only if it decided that the gift had not been exploited for party political purposes, he said.

The promised donation has been publicised on the BNP's website.

"We do not accept BNP party donations," said Lee. "Here it was an individual donation. "When the funds are received, we will decide whether we are going to accept the donation in the light of whether it is being used for partisan political purposes."

A spokesman for the BNP said the party did not itself give donations to charity, but local branches and members of the party did.

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