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26 May 2014

“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.

By Helen Lewis

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.”

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