Nick Griffin is expelled from the BNP

The former leader of the British National Party has been expelled from the party.

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Nick Griffin, who led the British National Party from 1999 to July this year, when he stood down and became the organisation’s president, has been expelled from the party.

The BNP has accused him of trying to “destabilise” the party and of “harassing” its members. Here’s a statement from its website:

Nick Griffin, the former Chairman of the British National Party (BNP) has been expelled from membership.

A Conduct Committee established by new Party Chairman, Adam Walker took the step in a letter to Mr Griffin today.

The Conduct Committee stated:

We believe that since being given the title of honourary President, you have put all your efforts into trying to cause disunity by deliberately fabricating a state of crisis. The aim of this was to again embroil the BNP in factionalism designed to destabilise our Party. This has included:

• Preparing a ‘report’ which tells lies about key Party personnel and finances and approving the leak of these damaging and defamatory allegations onto the internet

• Harassing members of BNP staff and in at least one case making physical threats

• Bringing the Party into disrepute through public statements

• Publishing, causing to be published or being reckless as to the publication of untrue allegations against the Party in the form of e-mails giving a false account of your bankruptcy situation

• Disobeying legitimate, constitutional instructions given to you by our Chairman, Adam Walker aimed at preventing damage to the reputation and unity of the Party.

Mr Jefferson of the conduct committee stated:

"This has been a difficult decision to make and not one taken lightly. Although we all appreciate that Nick has achieved a lot for our Party in the past, we must also remember that the Party is bigger than any individual.

“Nick did not adjust well to being given the honourary title of President and it soon became obvious that he was unable to work as an equal member of the team and alarmingly his behaviour became more erratic and disruptive."

Mr Griffin had been Chairman of the BNP for fifteen years until leaving his position following an Executive Council meeting in July.

Mr Griffin had previously lost his seat as a Member of the European Parliament and has been declared personally bankrupt due to a series of legal bills he ran up over several years as a result of both pursuing and defending a series of long-running cases.‏

Griffin has hit back at this decision over Twitter, saying:

This story is a symptom of a crisis in the party caused by the drastic decline in its popularity over recent years, compounded by its vote collapsing in this May’s European elections. This was when Griffin lost his seat in the European Parliament. My colleague Tim Wigmore has looked at the dwindling BNP vote in depth, analysing its relation to the rise of Ukip.

However, Griffin was once a relatively well-known figure in British politics, with both the Oxford Union and the BBC’s Question Time causing controversy by inviting him to speak. There was a protest outside the BBC’s Television Centre when Griffin appeared on the programme, on which he gave an infamous performance. Watch it here:

Anoosh Chakelian is the New Statesman’s Britain editor.