More than two in three Britons believe Nick Griffin is a Holocaust denier despite the BNP leader’s claim to the contrary during his controversial Question Time appearance.
In a poll conducted exclusively for the JC by YouGov this week, 1,409 adults were asked if they were convinced by Griffin’s belated acceptance of the Holocaust. Sixty-nine per cent responded that “Griffin is still at heart a Holocaust denier and only pretends to have changed his views to make the BNP appear more moderate”.
Just 14 per cent agreed that Griffin now genuinely acknowledged that the Shoah did take place. Among Labour and Lib-Dem voters, four out of five said Griffin still denied the Holocaust. YouGov also asked whether British Jews had “reason to be fearful if the BNP gained significantly in strength”. Fifty-four per cent responded that Jews would have cause for fear — with the figure rising to 64 per cent among Londoners polled. Seventy-two per cent said Muslims should fear a more powerful BNP.
The responses demonstrate that the BNP has failed to achieve the hoped-for bounce from Griffin’s slot on Question Time, which attracted a record eight million viewers.
YouGov president Peter Kellner was surprised that “such a big majority thought Griffin was still a Holocaust denier”. It showed that attempts to convince voters that he believed in the Holocaust, and was a friend of Israel, had failed. “However, a lot of people still support what the BNP stands for.” If its support reached 10 per cent, it could become a serious and divisive political force.
In an earlier poll for the Daily Telegraph, YouGov found that 66 per cent of Britons would not under any circumstances consider voting BNP in a local, general or European election. Only four per cent would “definitely consider voting BNP”. Asked for their views on a variety of fringe parties, 71 per cent expressed negative opinions about the BNP, as opposed to two per cent who were “very positive” and seven per cent who were “fairly positive”.
Community and anti-racist leaders were split over the impact made by Griffin on Question Time. Veteran anti-fascist Gerry Gable said it had served to wake up the many who might have been persuaded that the BNP had reformed.
Holocaust Educational Trust chairman Lord Janner felt Griffin had come across badly, “but the fact of his appearance has given status to the BNP, which in the long run could do great harm to the Jewish and other minority communities”.
Jewish Council for Racial Equality director Dr Edie Friedman said “Griffin’s comment about the BNP supporting Israeli actions in Gaza was a sinister attempt to demonstrate pro-Jewish and anti-Muslim credentials.”