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    British National Party

    While still a leader of the ITP, Griffin became involved with another far-right nationalist group, the British National Party (BNP). By 1993 he was speaking at BNP meetings, and writing pseudonymously for BNP publications. In 1995, he officially joined the party.

    For a time Griffin edited Spearhead, a publication owned by then party leader John Tyndall. Between 1995 and 1997, he was editor of The Rune, an antisemitic weekly, in which he praised the wartime Waffen SS and attacked the Royal Air Force for its bombing of Nazi Germany; at a 1996 demonstration at Coventry Cathedral he accused British airmen of 'mass murder'. In 1998, he was prosecuted in connection with the magazine (see below).

    In September 1999, Griffin was elected as head of the BNP. He embarked on a campaign to make the party electable, by taking it away from Tyndall's agenda. These changes included an emphasis on the need to dismantle multiculturalism, which the BNP claim has a destructive influence on both immigrant and British culture. This realignment was designed to position the BNP alongside successful European far-right groups, such as the French Front National. The campaign would also involve moves against Tyndall, who was expelled from the party for a time in 2002, along with his closest allies, Richard Edmonds and John Morse.

    1998 public order conviction

    In 1998, Griffin, along with Paul Ballard, was convicted of violating section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986, relating to incitement to racial hatred for publishing material that denied the Holocaust, specifically his editing of issue 12 of The Rune, published in 1996.

    The complaint regarding the magazine was made by Alex Carlile QC, who was then Liberal Democrat MP for Montgomeryshire. Carlile had asked the police to obtain for him a copy of the magazine, which they did. After reading it, the MP called the police again and complained about its content, whereupon the police raided Griffin's home and charged him. He was convicted and received a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was fined £2,300. Griffin claims that the law under which he was convicted "is an unjust law and he therefore has no obligation to follow it". A few months later, he ousted Tyndall as leader of the BNP."
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BNP leader homes in on new headquarters in East Lancashire

ELECTED: The BNP’s Nick Griffin

ELECTED: The BNP’s Nick Griffin

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

BNP leader Nick Griffin has confirmed he is looking for an East Lancashire base after his dramatic election to the European parliament.

Mr Griffin became the North West’s eighth Euro MP after being elected to serve alongside three Conservatives, two Labour members, a Liberal Democrat and a UKIP MEP.

Opponents immediately dubbed his success a “very dark day in British politics”.

But a defiant Mr Griffin hailed his election win and confirmed he is looking at setting up camp in East Lancashire as a party base for when he returns from trips to Brussels.

Last month the Lancashire Telegraph exclusively revealed the party was looking for a site ‘between Colne and Preston’.

The BNP declined to comment on the exact location of any potential bases, but it is believed the party has looked at sites in Burnley.

MEPs are given a yearly office allowance of 47,000 Euros and an annual staff allowance of 185,000 Euros.

This is a total of around £180,000 a year to set up a base.

They also earn the same annual salary as national MPs, which is just over £60,000 per year.

Mr Griffin said: “We will be working with the people of East Lancashire.

“We need to be sensible about it. We have only one won seat in the North West.

“But we are already in East Lancashire and we will spend more time there.”

Burnley Council leader Coun Gordon Birtwistle said he was not aware of any sites the BNP were looking at. But he said: “It’s 65 years since D-Day and 50 million people dying to stop the original facists, and now we’ve gone and elected them.”

Coun Mike Lee, Blackburn with Darwen Council leader, said he had heard nothing about the party opening a Blackburn office, but understood they may be looking at places in Burnley.

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