BNP chief wades into city Bondage punk’s tribunal

Andrew Brons, pictured with BNP leader Nick Griffin
Andrew Brons, pictured with BNP leader Nick Griffin
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NICK Griffin, the controversial leader of the British National Party, is to give evidence at an employment tribunal between a punk singer from Edinburgh and a fellow far-right politician.

Michelle Harrington – also known as Mish Bondage – has accused the BNP’s Andrew Brons of sexual and religious discrimination and unfair dismissal.

American-born Mrs Harrington, singer with punk band Sado-Nation, worked as an assistant to Mr Brons, the MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber.

The 49-year-old, from Edinburgh, worked for Mr Brons at an office in the centre of the Capital.

Mr Brons is currently embroiled in a bitter dispute with Mr Griffin after he contested the leadership of the party last May.

At the start of the employment tribunal, it was revealed that Mr Griffin is due to be called as a witness. It is believed Mr Griffin will give evidence for Mrs Harrington.

As her alter-ego, Mish Bondage, she appears in pictures on the internet wearing leather and fishnets, sporting tattoos and with bright red hair.

But Mrs Harrington adopted a much more demure look for the preliminary hearing in Edinburgh, dressing in smart and sombre black clothing.

She was represented at the hearing by her husband, Patrick Harrington, the general secretary of the BNP-affiliated union Solidarity.

Mr Harrington said his wife had been subjected to months of internet abuse by bloggers while she was employed by the BNP in Edinburgh.

In a bid to get a ruling that his wife’s identity was not reported, Mr Harrington spoke of her “deteriorating health conditions”, saying she suffered from “very severe stomach conditions, asthma and various other conditions affected by stress”.

Mr Harrington said his wife had been the victim of “a public campaign of hatred when she was just doing her job”.

She had been described in one blog post as “a foreign bondage freak with contradicting decency and brutish values”. Another, he said, described her as a “reprehensible woman of no worth and a degenerative”.

He added: “People seem to think it’s OK to vilify her on sexual grounds. Sexual discrimination and harassment is not acceptable in the workplace.”

Mr Brons’ legal representative opposed reporting restrictions, describing the Harringtons’ argument as “weak” and claiming: “Much of the allegations and evidence is in the public domain already.”

Mrs Harrington is also bringing the case against the BNP’s former national elections officer, Eddy Butler, claiming sexual and religious discrimination and unfair dismissal.

Employment judge Ian McPherson said he would issue a written ruling on whether Mrs Harrington should be anonymous at future hearings.

The case continues.