Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party, today defended his decision to accept an invitation to the Queen's garden party despite previously claiming his attendance would "embarrass" the monarch.
The far-right politician is expected to be among the 8,000 guests at the event, which will be hosted by the Queen and also attended by the Duke of Edinburgh.
Griffin is due to attend this afternoon's event with three family members.
Buckingham Palace said he is automatically eligible for a garden party ticket in his capacity as an elected member of the European parliament, but his invitation has caused outrage among anti-fascists.
Other members of the royal family who will be mingling on the palace's lawns include the Duke of York, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent.
Griffin pulled out of the event last year following a public outcry, claiming he had "no wish to embarrass the Queen".
He was due to attend a palace garden party as a guest of his BNP colleague, Richard Barnbrook, who is a member of the London assembly, prompting London mayor Boris Johnson to protest and accuse Griffin of a "political stunt".
The BNP party leader dismissed Johnson's comments as "alarmist, stupid and juvenile" and insisted today that his status as an MEP for the north-west had changed things.
Speaking on GMTV, Griffin said: "Richard was put under immense pressure for me not to go and since I was not there under my own steam and my own elected right I decided to pull out. This time it's totally different – 800,000 people voted for us in the European elections and I was voted an MEP.
He added: "The palace have made it very, very clear that they will not discriminate against any elected MEP and I think that's the proper thing to do, so there's no embarrassment there at all."
He said he was "pretty sure" he would not meet the Queen during the event and had absolutely no intention of trying to speak to her. But he added: "If we happen to meet over the sandwiches, of course I will."
A Unite Against Fascism spokesman said: "We are opposed to Nick Griffin appearing anywhere in public. Events like this help to make Nick Griffin and the BNP seem legitimate in the eyes of racist voters.
"The Queen does not just represent Britain but the Commonwealth. Her staff or whoever invited him really need to take a long, hard look at what this day represents – Nick Griffin and racists or multiculturalism."
Edit:- BNP leader Nick Griffin's invitation to royal garden party withdrawn as he was using it for 'party political purposes'. More details soon.