Nick Griffin, who has lost his seat as an MEP. Photo: Getty
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"They’ve voted for Ukip’s racist policies instead": BNP leader Nick Griffin on losing his seat

The BNP leader has lost his seat as an MEP, completing the obliteration of the party as an electoral force.

Nick Griffin has lost his seat in the European parliament.

The leader of the British National Party formerly represented the North-West as an MEP. He and fellow BNP member Andrew Brons were elected in 2009, although Brons has since left the party and did not stand for re-election this year. 

The BNP now has no representation in the European parliament and only two councillors across Britain. Its collapse is now complete: as Tim Wigmore reported earlier this week, in 2012 its votes slumped to 26,000 - down from 240,000 in the 2008 elections. In January, Griffin was declared bankrupt

Speaking to Sky's Adam Boulton, Griffin said: "We are indeed what you might call racist." Asked where the party's voters had gone, he said"They’ve voted for Ukip’s racist policies instead." He added that he was encouraged by the success of the Front National in France. He later tweeted from @nickgriffinmep: "If anyone can tell me how to change my twitter title without losing the account I'd be obliged! ;-) #we'renotgoingawayyouknow"

The Lib Dem president Tim Farron was quoted by the Guardian's Clare Phipps as saying: "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."

Update, 00.26: Griffin won just 32,826 votes in the North-West, coming sixth (Greens were fourth, Lib Dems fifth). 

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.

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Jeremy Corbyn fans are getting extremely angry at the wrong Michael Foster

He didn't try to block the Labour leader off a ballot. He's just against hunting with dogs. 

Michael Foster was a Labour MP for Worcester from 1997 to 2010, where he was best known for trying to ban hunting with dogs. After losing his seat to Tory Robin Walker, he settled back into private life.

He quietly worked for a charity, and then a trade association. That is, until his doppelganger tried to get Jeremy Corbyn struck off the ballot paper. 

The Labour donor Michael Foster challenged Labour's National Executive Committee's decision to let Corbyn automatically run for leadership in court. He lost his bid, and Corbyn supporters celebrated.

And some of the most jubilant decided to tell Foster where to go. 

Foster told The Staggers he had received aggressive tweets: "I have had my photograph in the online edition of The Sun with the story. I had to ring them up and suggest they take it down. It is quite a common name."

Indeed, Michael Foster is such a common name that there were two Labour MPs with that name between 1997 and 2010. The other was Michael Jabez Foster, MP for Hastings and Rye. 

One senior Labour MP rang the Worcester Michael Foster up this week, believing he was the donor. 

Foster explained: "When I said I wasn't him, then he began to talk about the time he spent in Hastings with me which was the other Michael Foster."

Having two Michael Fosters in Parliament at the same time (the donor Michael Foster was never an MP) could sometimes prove useful. 

Foster said: "When I took the bill forward to ban hunting, he used to get quite a few of my death threats.

"Once I paid his pension - it came out of my salary."

Foster has never met the donor Michael Foster. An Owen Smith supporter, he admits "part of me" would have been pleased if he had managed to block Corbyn from the ballot paper, but believes it could have caused problems down the line.

He does however have a warning for Corbyn supporters: "If Jeremy wins, a place like Worcester will never have a Labour MP.

"I say that having years of working in the constituency. And Worcester has to be won by Labour as part of that tranche of seats to enable it to form a government."