Mark Adrian Collett (/ˈkɒlɪt/; born c. 1980) is a British neo-Nazi and far-right political activist. He is a former chairman of the Young BNP, the youth division of the British National Party (BNP), and was director of publicity for the party before his BNP membership was suspended in early April 2010.
Mark Adrian Collette
|Education||Loughborough Grammar School|
|Alma mater||University of Leeds|
|Known for||Former chairman of Youth BNP|
Collett featured on a Channel 4 documentary on the BNP - Young, Nazi and Proud broadcast in 2002 which concentrated almost exclusively on Collett. He declared his admiration for Adolf Hitler and said that he considered AIDS a "friendly disease because blacks, drug users and gays have it", unaware he was being recorded. Collett made similar remarks while on Russell Brand's 2002 TV show RE:Brand, in which he described homosexuals as "AIDS Monkeys", "bum bandits" and "faggots". Collett was sacked from his position in the party and expelled days after the Channel 4 documentary was broadcast, although party leaders continued to share speaking platforms with him. However he was allowed to rejoin a few days later with chairman Nick Griffin saying that he must change his views on the subject. Collett was the party's head of publicity and produced the party's monthly magazine Identity.
As a result of a police investigation into another documentary, BBC One's The Secret Agent, which in July 2004 broadcast secret footage of Collet making derogatory remarks about asylum seekers, whom he called "cockroaches", Collett, then aged 24, was bailed on race hate offences at Leeds magistrates' court on 7 April 2005 alongside party founder John Tyndall and party leader Nick Griffin. The trial ended on 2 February 2006 after a jury acquitted Collett of two charges of using words or behaviour intended to stir up racial hatred, and two alternative charges of using words likely to stir up racial hatred. The jury failed to reach a verdict in respect of a further four charges.
The Crown Prosecution Service subsequently announced that Collett and Griffin would face a retrial on the remaining charges of using words or behaviour intended to stir up racial hatred. This retrial began at Leeds Crown Court on 1 November 2006 and he and Griffin were found not guilty.
In October 2009, Collett and the BNP's record label executive Joseph Barber were interviewed on BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat bulletin, being introduced only as "Mark and Joey, two young guys who are members of the BNP". They said that the England international footballer Ashley Cole was not "ethnically British" due to having black heritage. An internal inquiry at the BBC criticised the interviewers for not identifying the pair by their full names and positions in the BNP, and for not sufficiently challenging their remarks about Cole.
In April, 2010 Collett was sacked from his job as BNP publicity chief and suspended from the party for being supportive of a leadership bid against Griffin, and was subsequently arrested by Humberside police, who questioned him over alleged threats to kill Griffin. Despite the reinstatement of Collett's party membership he did not stand for the party in the May 2010 general election. He had previously been selected as BNP candidate in Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, to challenge the then-Home Secretary David Blunkett.
During the 2016 EU referendum campaign, Collett was seen campaigning for Vote Leave and was featured in news articles by daily newspapers, including the Daily Mail, alongside his neo-Nazi partner Eva Van Housen, who displayed her Nazi tattoos for the publication. BBC News later reported that Vote Leave warned Collett and Van Housen to stop using their Brexit campaign materials.
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Earlier this month, Radio 1's Newsbeat cutely allowed "Mark and Joey, two young guys who are members of the BNP", to imply that Chelsea and England footballer Ashley Cole was not really British. It did not reveal that "Mark" was Mark Collett, the BNP's press officer and an admirer of Nazism, and "Joey" was Joey Smith, who runs the BNP's record label.
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