A Black Lives Matter group has applied to register as a political party, the Electoral Commission has revealed, and could field candidates in next year’s local elections.
An application in the name of the protest group, which has led calls to defund the police, was made almost exactly five months after the death of unarmed black man George Floyd.
The political party intends to operate over the whole of the UK and its registration suggests it plans on launching splinter groups in Wales and Scotland.
It may also try to contest the London mayoral and assembly elections next year under the name “Black Lives Matter for the GLA”.
However, there was confusion over who was behind the registration, after Black Lives Matter’s leading UK affiliate group denied any knowledge of the political operation.
A spokesman for BLM UK said: “BLM UK has no intention to set up a political party. This person or group is not affiliated with us.”
In a statement, the UK wing insisted it was operating on a “non-political, non-partisan, non-violence Black Lives Matter platform”.
It remains unclear whether the registration was made by BLM’s American parent group, who did not respond to requests for comment, or another offshoot.
If the party’s registration is approved by the Electoral Commission, it will be the second BLM-inspired political operation to register in the UK in recent weeks.
The Taking The Initiative Party (TTIP) was launched this summer by BLM UK activist Sasha Johnson, who calls herself “Oxford’s Black Panther”.
Ms Johnson, who has campaigned to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes from Oxford University, promised that the party would be “the first black-led political party in the UK”.
While Ms Johnson is expected to play a key role in the party a leader has not yet been announced.
Meanwhile, the latest Electoral Commission also revealed that Laurence Fox has yet to officially register his new political party.
However, it is understood that application papers for the Reclaim party have recently been lodged.
On hearing the news of the BLM group's political ambitions, Mr Fox told the Telegraph: “I’m glad to see we already have common ground. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
The actor hopes to provide a new political movement which “promises to make our future a shared endeavour, not a divisive one” and has received more than £5 million in donations.
Mr Fox is weighing up dozens of candidates to stand in next May’s Scottish elections, as well as the local elections in England ahead of the 2024 general election.
The actor previously claimed that he was threatened by a group of actors who told him to “change his tune” over the BLM movement.
Mr Fox was issued with the ultimatum after he said he would refuse to kneel in solidarity with protestors due to its “master-servant connotations”.
The UK iteration of the group has drawn particular criticism over its calls to “dismantle” capitalism and develop strategies for the “abolition of the police”.
Sajid Javid warned that the organisation was “not a force for good” during a Conservative Party Conference event earlier this month.
The former chancellor said: “I distinguish between the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight for racial justice.
“I’m not sympathetic to the actual organisation, Black Lives Matter. I think it’s a sort of neo-Marxist organisation that wants to overthrow capitalism and get rid of the police.”
BLM UK changed its name to Black Liberation Movement UK last month and registered as a community benefit society.
The legal registration enabled the group to access the £1.2 million in donations it has received through a crowdfunding appeal on GoFundMe.
While its official name has changed the organisation still continues to operate under the name Black Lives Matter and in collaboration with the global BLM movement.
In America, BLM has been ramping up its political activity in recent weeks, spearheading four separate projects aiming to encourage young black voters to head to the polls in next month’s election.
The group was set up in the US in 2013 in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman after the death of teen Trayvon Martin and now has branches in Canada and the UK.
The campaign rose to greater global prominence after the death of George Floyd in Minnesota in May, which sparked protests across the world.