British Court of Appeals Dismisses Sentence Imposed on Nazi Leader

An appeals court dismissed today a two-month prison term imposed on British National Socialist party leader Colin Jordan for “insulting behavior” during a riotous meeting of the party at London’s Trafalgar Square last July 1.

A parallel appeal by party secretary John Tyndall was rejected but his six-week jail sentence was quashed and a 10-pound ($28) fine was levied instead. R. E. Seaton, who presided, said: “We have considered Jordan’s speech with very great care. It was very near the borderline but in our view it Just failed to step over the edge.” He added that it was “a great pity there is no power to bar meetings of this sort” and expressed the hope something would be done about it.

Jordan said he was “very pleased” with the outcome and added “I must admit I did not expect it.” Declaring he would continue to make speeches, he said the appeal verdict “confirmed the conviction that free speech is still allowed in Britain.”

Jordan earlier had appealed to the British Education Ministry against his dismissal from his teaching post in a Coventry secondary school. The Coventry Education Commission suspended Jordan after the July 1 rally. In a letter to the Education Ministry, the neo-Nazi said the commission had refused to give any reason for the dismissal or to acquaint him with any charges. He asserted that the procedure was not “a right or fair process of dismissal.”

Jordan, Tyndall and two other National Socialist officials are still scheduled to appear at the next session of the Central Criminal court on charges of violating the British Public Order Act. The specific charge is that of organizing “Spearhead,” a paramilitary group.

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