The Church of England may dismiss clergy if they back political parties promoting the "sin of racism", its bishops agreed today.
William Fittall, secretary general of the Church's General Synod, said they would be disciplined if they joined or sought support for the British National Party or National Front, whose views the Church considers incompatible with its teachings.
It is the first time Church of England clergy have been banned from joining a political party.
A teacher who is an activist with the British National Party has taken the Education Secretary and the regulatory body to court after he was struck off for life.
Adam Walker is challenging the ban authorised by Michael Gove which followed him receiving a suspended sentence for verbally abusing three schoolboys, chasing them in his car and slashing the tyres on their bikes with a Stanley knife.
At the Administrative Court sitting in Leeds, the 44-year-old claimed the decision to ban him for life was "prejudiced" because of his BNP support.
Mr Walker, an IT teacher who qualified in 2000, appeared before a conduct committee in 2010 after he labelled some immigrants "savage animals" on an internet forum using a school laptop.
The BNP's head press officer Simon Darby reportedly said "Michael Schumacher has millions in the bank, but he'd do anything to be in Nick's (Griffin) position now" after the party's leader was declared bankrupt.
BNP leader Nick Griffin will be automatically discharged from bankruptcy in one year, on January 2 2015, in accordance with the Insolvency Act.
He was elected as a member of the European Parliament for the North West region of England in 2009. He has vowed to stand again in May.
The Electoral Commission said bankruptcy in itself does not bar someone from being an MEP or standing for election, but only if a bankruptcy restrictions order or debt relief restrictions order was made - which did not occur in Mr Griffin's case.