British National Party leader Nick Griffin today said he was unable to tell if a caller to a radio phone-in was British as he couldn't see what he looked like. He told the Nottingham man – who said three of his grandparents were born outside Britain – that he could class himself as "civically British" but not "indigenous British".
His remarks came as he took calls from listeners on BBC Radio 4's The World at One. During the phone-in, caller Sean Fowlston asked: "Would you be good enough to tell me whether I am British or not, given that three of my grandparents were foreign-born?"
Mr Griffin said: "It doesn't matter where on earth they come from, obviously I can't you see you down the radio."
He then added: "You're British."
But pressed why it would make a difference what colour the man was, Mr Griffin went on: "It would make a difference in particular, if he was what the BBC would call white, then I would assume from his name he was Irish, and I am part-Irish as well. We regard the Irish as completely part of Britain."
Asked why he would need to see him to know whether he was British or not, Mr Griffin said: "Because if I could see him I could tell whether his three ancestors were Irish or not."
During the phone-in Mr Griffin was asked if the Royal Family were "indigenous" British as their ancestors originally came from Germany in the 18th century. Mr Griffin said: "Erm, well that was part of the Royal Family. They are a fairly old mixed-up bunch of Europeans, but they are fully integrated. Once you reach a stage where you simply can't tell, when the whole community regards someone as being part of the indigenous, that is when they are indigenous. That is the case in the Amazon jungle, why is it different here?"
This is Nottingham