UK: Far-right leader charged with terror offense

LONDON (Agencies): The leader of the far-right Britain First group was charged with a terrorist offense on Friday.

Paul Golding, 38, refused to give police access and passwords to his phone and electronic devices.

He was charged with refusing to comply with Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, and is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Feb. 27.

Last October, officers from the Metropolitan Police department’s counter-terrorism branch stopped Golding at Heathrow Airport. He was returning to the U.K. from a visit to the Russian parliament in Moscow.

Schedule 7 gives police the power to search, detain, and interrogate people coming into the U.K. for up to six hours. It gives police time to decide whether the person is preparing or instigating terrorist acts.

Golding said in a statement that the charges were an “abuse of legislation” and that he was not a terrorist. Britain First is well known in the U.K. for anti-Islam outbursts, anti-mosque protests, and street and online provocations. It was founded by former members of the British National Party in 2011.

Golding and his former deputy Jayda Fransen were been arrested numerous times and both received convictions.