Mark Collett, a senior British National Party member, has been arrested. He is alleged to have threatened to kill his own party leader Nick Griffin.
It has been revealed that Collett, the BNP's publicity director, was arrested on Thursday. This apparently followed Griffin and a number of BNP colleagues giving statements to the police.
Collett was supposed to be a candidate in the forthcoming general election, standing against David Blunkett in Sheffield. But this now looks unlikely - he has already been removed from his position in the fascist organisation. Other leading BNP members accuse Collett of attempting to orchestrate a "palace coup" against Griffin.
The arrest of Collett is a serious blow to the BNP, as it gears up for an election campaign spearheaded by Griffin, who is standing in Barking and Dagenham. The background to the arrest appears to reveal infighting and tensions at the highest level, with party officals linking Collett to the "leaking on the internet of sensitive personal information" and "alleged financial irregularities".
This latest bad news for the BNP follows last month's ruling that its membership policy is discriminatory. It will severely damage its hopes of presenting a respectable and credible image in the pre-election period.
As a spokesperson for anti-fascist magazine Searchlight says: "Nick Griffin is constantly claiming he is the leader of a moderate, non-violent organisation. It is difficult to see how he can square that assertion with his statement to the police that his own head of publicity has been plotting to kill him."
Anti-fascist campaigners up and down the country will now be stepping up efforts to halt the BNP's bid for seats in the general and local council elections.