After his party gained its first two MEPs in last weeks European elections, BNP leader Nick Griffin obviously wanted to make his victory Press conference a statesmanlike affair.
But when the far right leader arrived to deliver his speech opposite the Houses of Parliament, he found his party's message of hate was afforded precious little respect.
Together with fellow British National Party MEP Andrew Brons, Mr Griffin tried to use yesterday's Westminster meeting to publicise his party's racist agenda. But, instead, he was pelted with eggs by anti-fascist protesters, some of the projectiles finding their target.
Perhaps anticipating trouble, Mr Griffin had come with a squad of his own burly security guards. There was also a sizeable presence of armed police.
But he was able to speak for only a few minutes before a large gathering of the campaign group Unite Against Fascism disrupted the meeting.
In scenes that are likely to be repeated as the BNP tries to establish itself as a legitimate political party, the Press conference disintegrated into violent chaos as campaigners waving placards and shouting 'Off our streets, Nazi scum' threw eggs and tried to get between the BNP and the news cameras. Heavily outnumbered, Mr Griffin and his supporters were forced into waiting cars, which then sped away.
One of the protesters vowed: 'Wherever you go, we will make sure you are welcomed by demonstrations.'
Television cameras captured disturbing images of one woman in a red jacket being aggressively shoved aside by a BNP security guard in the melee. A female tourist was also injured. Police later received an allegation of assault and reports of a collision, thought to have occurred as the BNP group drove off.
The violent scenes took place on College Green, a small patch of grass opposite the Houses of Parliament often used for interviews.
Still wearing his egg- stained suit, Mr Griffin later toured the television news studios to complain that he had been denied his democratic right to free speech. He said: 'It's a very, very sad day for British democracy. People should be entitled to hear what we have to say and to hear journalists question us robustly.'
Mr Griffin described the protesters as 'an organised mob' and alleged that the police officers had 'on orders from the Home Office' deliberately done nothing to protect him.
Unite Against Fascism is an umbrella group formed by the veteran campaign groups the Anti-Nazi League and the National Assembly Against Racism as well as various trades unions in response to the rising electoral threat of the BNP. Numerous MPs are listed as supporters, including Conservative leader David Cameron.
A BNP spokesman said that it will re-organise the Press conference for later today in Manchester, but said details of the time and place were being kept secret to prevent further trouble.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said two people were taken to hospital after the protest and inquiries were continuing.