The British National Party leader, Nick Griffin, was last night accused of "sickening" exploitation of the memory of a murdered black teenager, Anthony Walker, who was killed in a Liverpool park.
Mr Griffin was accused of besmirching Walker's memory to stoke up votes ahead of the European elections this week. In a broadcast posted on YouTube, he stands at the spot where the 18-year-old was murdered in July 2005, and says the killing has been labelled as racially motivated but that "this is not the case".
"This was made out as a Stephen Lawrence-style cause célèbre," he says. "The truth is, you talk to any one around here, that isn't the case. Everybody says Anthony Walker was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It wasn't a racist murder and there's no doubt about that."
He goes on to describe a CCTV camera trained on the park entrance as "ridiculous politically correct expenditure on one murder".
Two cousins, Michael Barton, 17, and Paul Taylor, 20, were jailed for Walker's murder, which the judge described as "a racist attack of a type poisonous to any civilised society".
Walker was waiting at a bus stop with his white girlfriend and a black friend when the pair were subjected to "a torrent of racial abuse", according to police. Although they walked away, they were followed in a car and ambushed. Walker's friend and girlfriend managed to escape, but he was struck with an ice pick that was left embedded in his skull.
Yesterday a spokesman for the anti-racist organisation Searchlight said: "Nick Griffin's sickening attempt to smear the memory of Anthony Walker – an innocent boy killed because of the colour of his skin – for his own political purposes reveals the BNP for what they are: racist thugs."