POLITICS

European Elections: BNP Leader Nick Griffin Is No Longer An MEP

25/05/2014 23:13 BST | Updated 25/05/2014 23:59 BST
Dave Thompson/PA Wire
BNP leader Nick Griffin talks to a members of the public as he canvases for votes in Wythenshawe, Manchester, before the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election count, which takes place tonight.

BNP leader Nick Griffin appears to have lost his seat in the European Parliament tonight.

Apparently conceding he would no longer be an MEP in the North West, he tweeted from his Twitter account nickgriffinmep: "If anyone can tell me how to change my Twitter title without losing the account I'd be obliged:)"

Scuffles broke out as he arrived at Manchester Town Hall for the Euro elections count. Protesters screaming, "Nazi scum" surrounded his car and dozens of police officers struggled to keep them separated from Griffin and a handful of his supporters.

He had to duck placards hurled at him and dodge attackers who broke through police barriers, with officers rugby tackling some of them, before Mr Griffin was taken into the safety of the town hall.

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Out of breath and breathing heavily, Griffin said his reception at the town hall was "fairly typical". He appeared to concede defeat saying his party had "no chance" tonight, before adding: "We will be back."

Griffin blamed UKIP, claiming they were now the protest party of choice, were not anti-immigration and were "anti-working class and going nowhere".

The BNP won two seats in 2009 but has since been hit by internal strife and conflict, and personal woes for Mr Griffin, who was declared bankrupt in January. The other MEP - Andrew Brons - resigned from the party in 2011.

Griffin departed with a warning that the "people are waking up" as other anti-immigrant groups scored victories across the EU.

He declared that the victory of the Front National in France was "good news" and drew a comparison with the rise of Ukip in Britain.

"While Front National is nearly as soft as Ukip, such votes show the people are waking up. Real change will follow," he said.