Nick Griffin concedes European parliament seat as BNP votes fall away
The British National party leader suffered another blow, allegedly punched by a protester at Manchester town hall.
The British National Party’s brief foray into European politics is over after leader Nick Griffin was decisively ousted as an MEP.
Conceding defeat, Griffin said BNP supporters had voted for “Ukip’s racist policies instead”.
The BNP polled 32,826 in the north-west of England, equating to just 1.87% of the vote – down 6.13% on 2009, when Griffin and Andrew Brons, his former party colleague from Yorkshire, were elected to the European parliament.
This time around, the far right party also failed to hold Brons’ Yorkshire seat, which he had decided not to contest after falling out with Griffin and leaving the party in 2012.
In the north-west, Labour increased their share of the vote by 13.86% to 33.86%, giving them three MEPs, up one on 2009. Lead candidate Theresa Griffin was heckled by her BNP namesake and his cronies after she used her victory speech to congratulate voters on rejecting the “hate driven policies of the BNP”.
Ukip’s deputy leader Paul Nuttall was re-elected, alongside first timers Louise Bours, a Brookside actor who used to go by the surname van de Bours, and barrister Steven Woolfe. Nuttall ended his victory speech by declaring “The age of four party politics has arrived.”
The Tories lost one MEP in the north-west but kept two. The Greens trailed in fourth place, their vote slightly down on 2009, followed by the Liberal Democrats, whose MEP Chris Davies lost his job after the party’s vote in the region dropped by 8.25%.
Responding to the evening’s results, Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrats’ despondent chair, said: “The only thing that will make me feel better walking out of here tonight will be knowing that Nick Griffin is no longer my MEP.”
- The Guardian,