July 01, 2011

BNP chief leads Mr Monkey protest at town hall

British National party leader Nick Griffin, left, leads a protest at South Shields Town Hall
The leader of the British National Party (BNP) was in South Tyneside yesterday to make a town hall protest over taxpayers’ cash being used to unmask a mystery blogger.

The Mr Monkey blog has made vile and malicious comments about councillors, South Tyneside Council officers, and other figures in the borough, which led to landmark proceedings forcing social network giant Twitter to hand over personal information – including that of Coun Ahmed Khan.

Council chiefs are insisting less than £75,000 was used to fund the fight, and plaintiffs have said that money would be paid back from any proceeds of libel action. But Nick Griffin and about 30 members of his party – one dressed in a monkey costume – were on the steps of South Shields Town Hall claiming that figure was likely to be £250,000.

Mr Griffin also made allegations about the Shields Gazette, claiming the paper had not covered the issue in depth – despite a number of front-page stories. Mr Griffin, who was in the region for a meeting, said: “I’m here today to let the South Tyneside public know exactly how their money is being spent. The council cannot sue for libel, and instead have put their legal action in the names of councillors and an employee. It’s a waste of the taxpayers’ cash, and everyone should be aware of this.

“The support we have received while standing here has been very positive.” Police were present at the demonstration, which lasted about 30 minutes, and one man was arrested for a public order offence after throwing an egg at a BNP member. The 42-year-old was later released with no further action.

However, not all passers-by realised the stunt was in connection with the online blog. A 28-year-old man said: “To be honest, I saw the BNP and then saw a man in a monkey suit. I just assumed they were being derogatory towards certain races. It wasn’t until I stood for a good few minutes and listened to what Griffin was saying that I realised it was connected to the blog, which I admit I don’t know that much about, but had heard of. I guess in a way I do see what they’re trying to achieve, because I do think it was a waste of cash, which could be spent on more worthy things. But then it’s also wrong that some people had to put up with awful things being published about themselves. It’s a tricky one.”

Gazette editor John Szymanski said: “The Gazette has continued to inform the South Tyneside public about the Monkey blog and efforts to unmask its author. We have carried in-depth and extensive coverage both in the newspaper and online about the fight to stop this blog in its tracks.

“This ludicrous publicity stunt by the BNP shows what a clearly ill-informed and misguided party it really is. Thankfully, the BNP holds little sway in South Tyneside and has very little influence with its nonsensical claims and extremist rantings.”

A police spokesman said: “Police in South Tyneside were informed about a protest and carried out the role of monitoring the situation to ensure all parties involved behaved in a lawful manner. As expected, the event was peaceful and passed smoothly.”

South Tyneside Council declined to comment.

The Shields Gazette


Antifascist said...

It's true - Nick Griffin IS a complete cretin.

Kev Scott Loves the Jam said...

Did you intentionally mis-type the title of this piece?

Surely it was "chief Monkey leads BNP protest at town hall"?

And was the man arrested for throwing the egg, arrested for being a lousy shot?

Anyone know if my moniker was there?

Anonymous said...

Nick Griffin has always believed that any publicity is good publicity, hence that goop with the colander on his head, the porn granny and his appalling attempts to politicise the Buck House garden party. The man is a dickhead.

Anonymous said...

"Nick Griffin and about 30 members of his party – one dressed in a monkey costume "

Are you sure that this was a costume?

What a pity that this demo was not in Hartlepool. They know how to treat BNP monkeys there

Old Sailor

Anonymous said...

"Last week Labour Councillor Rob Dix got away with an alleged incident involving racially aggreveated assault on an employee of the council’s own parking enforcement company Apoca who had the nerve to issue Councillor Dix with a parking ticket"

And this is one of the "malicious comments" on Mr Monkey? Thought you'd be on his side for exposing racism?

Anonymous said...

"Anyone know if my moniker was there?"

I doubt it, Kev isnt very popular with Herr Griffin these days.

From the photo I cant tell which one is the monkey...confusing I know!

Antifascist said...

'Thought you'd be on his side for exposing racism?'

If all he did was expose racism, of course we'd be on his side. Anyway, the article is only on to show Griffin up for the undignified publicity-hungry buffoon that he is.

Anonymous said...

Thought you'd be on his side for exposing racism?

If it's true then yes - absolutely. Kind of difficult to tell given the way the allegations have been made, though, isn't it? It will be interesting to see what comes out either way if the claims do get tested in court.

But the stunt in question is just a case of the BNP making a monkey of itself, yet again. What idiots.

Anonymous said...

The newspapers shouldn't give this Fascist any publicity at all.

Dave Knight said...

Can't quite make out which one is the monkey.