Demonstrators shouting 'Off our streets, Nazi scum' force BNP leader to flee for the safety of his car
Having arrived for the press conference, on College Green in front of parliament, just after 2.30pm with fellow BNP MEP Andrew Brons, he began by attacking articles from today's newspapers criticising him and his party. He had been speaking for only a few minutes when the protesters appeared, chanting and waving banners reading "Stop the fascist BNP".
Weyman Bennett, the protest organiser and national secretary of Unite Against Fascism, said he believed it was important to stand up to the BNP.
"The majority of people did not vote for the BNP. They did not vote at all," he said. "The BNP was able to dupe them into saying that they had an answer to people's problems. They presented themselves as a mainstream party. The reality was, because the turnout was so low, they actually got elected."
Griffin later accused the three main parties of organising the protest to stop his party getting its message across. Griffin claims the BNP is not racist, even though it restricts membership to "indigenous British ethnic groups deriving from the class of 'Indigenous Caucasian'". Asked yesterday how he could tell who qualified as British, Griffin said: "You just look and you just know."
Brons, the MEP for the the Yorkshire and Humber region, told Sky news indigenous Britons were "the people of this country who were descended from people who were in this country, say, from the period after the second world war, when the country was relatively homogenous."
"What the mainstream parties have to do is prove their worth – get on the doorstep, explain to people how we are going to take up their concerns, how we are going to respond to their issues," he said. "That is the way to beat these dreadful people."
Peter Hain, the newly appointed Welsh secretary, said: "It's a shameful stain on Britain that we now have racists and fascists representing our country. It is vital that everyone now isolates and confronts the BNP and works with United Against Fascism to defeat them."
The BNP is to hold a press conference in Manchester tomorrow.