Attack to BNP leader Nick Griffin at outside of Parliament.
Dozens of protesters disrupted the event, which follows the British National Party winning its first two seats in the European Parliament. Chanting anti-Nazi slogans and holding placards they surrounded Mr Griffin as he was bundled into a car. Mr Griffin was elected for the North West region – a result condemned by parties across the political spectrum. Mr Griffin and Andrew Brons, who was elected in the Yorkshire and Humber region, staged a press conference on College Green, opposite the Houses of Parliament.
The BNP leader began the event by holding up copies of national newspapers and talking about what he said were media lies about him and his party.
Members of Unite Against Fascism, a new group supported by trade unions and MPs from all parties, including Tory leader David Cameron, and veteran left wing campaigner Tony Benn, said they wanted to “defend democracy” against what they regard as the “fascist” and “racist” policies of the BNP. One told the crowd his message for Mr Griffin was: “Wherever you go in this country we will make sure you are welcomed by demonstrations.”
The demonstrators kicked and hit the BNP leader’s car with their placards before cheering as he drove off. Protest organizer Weyman Bennett, national secretary of Unite Against Fascism, said he believed it was important to stand up to the BNP. “The majority of people did not vote for the BNP, they did not vote at all. The BNP was able to dupe them into saying that they had an answer to people’s problems. “They presented themselves as a mainstream party. The reality was because the turnout was so low, they actually got elected.” Speaking to BBC News afterwards, Mr Griffin alleged that the three main political parties were trying to prevent the BNP getting its message across by colluding with protesters who he said were mainly left-wing students.
He says the BNP is not racist and says it won votes because it “spoke openly about the problem of immigration”. And he argued that the “political elite” were responsible for making “the indigenous British majority… second class citizens in every possible sphere”. Mr Griffin said the BNP plans to hold a press conference in Manchester tomorrow and he hopes that the police will take action against any violent protests.
On Monday Tory leader David Cameron and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said they were “sickened” by the BNP’s win and Labour deputy Harriet Harman said it was “a terrible thing”. The number of people voting BNP across the UK as a whole went up slightly, from 808,201 to 943,598 in the European elections, but went down slightly in the two regions where it gained MEPs, with the party benefiting from a collapse in the Labour vote.